Fractions Teaching Resources
Make math lesson planning a breeze with printable fractions worksheets, fun activities, games, and more teaching resources for the elementary classroom.
This collection of curriculum-aligned printable and digital resources has been created just for teachers by the teachers on the Teach Starter team. That means each resource has undergone an in-depth review before being published to ensure it's ready for the classroom and your students! Inside this collection, you'll find editable resources you can easily differentiate for individual learners plus math center activities and fun games to help students understand how to add and divide fractions and more.
New to teaching this section of the math curriculum? Read on for a guide to all things fractions from our teacher team!
What Are Fractions?
It may be basic, but we need to start somewhere! Fractions are, of course, mathematical expressions that represent a part of a whole or a ratio of two quantities. Fractions can be used to represent quantities that are not whole numbers, and they are an important part of arithmetic, algebra, and other areas of math that our students explore throughout their elementary and high school education.
Understanding numerators and denominators is an essential skill as students dive into adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions.
Next, let's dive into the most common topics we cover when we're teaching fractions!
Proper Fractions vs. Improper Fractions
Teaching fractions involves teaching students a lot of new vocabulary! Two terms your class will need to know early on in your lessons are:
- Proper Fractions: This is a fraction where the numerator (the top part) is less than the denominator (the bottom part). A proper fraction represents a value that is between 0 and 1. For example, 1/2 is a proper fraction because the numerator (1) is less than the denominator (2).
- Improper Fractions: This is a fraction where the numerator is greater than or equal to the denominator. An improper fraction represents a value that is greater than or equal to 1. For example, 3/2 is an improper fraction because the numerator (3) is greater than the denominator (2).
What Is a Unit Fraction?
We told you there was a lot of vocabulary involved! A unit fraction is a fraction whose numerator is 1 and whose denominator is a positive integer.
For example, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc., are all unit fractions. Unit fractions are also examples of proper fractions, as they are always less than 1 in value.
When working with unit fractions in your classroom, students learn to represent these fractions with visual models where one piece of a partitioned shape is shaded in. Students also learn to build larger fractions by grouping unit fractions together.
As an example, 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 = 3/8.
What Is the Least Common Multiple?
Working on fractions with your upper elementary students? You may be tackling the least common multiple this school year. So let's talk about what that means. The least common multiple is another important term to define before diving into adding, subtracting, or comparing fractions.
Sometimes called the LCM, the least common multiple of two or more numbers is the smallest positive integer that is divisible by all of the numbers.
In order to find the LCM of two or more numbers, you can teach students to use one of several methods, including:
- The prime factorization method
- The listing method
- The division method
How Do You Add Fractions?
Once students understand the basics of fractions, it's time to teach how they work in relation to the different operations. We'll start with addition.
To add two or more fractions, students will need to:
- Find a common denominator (also known as the least common denominator or LCD) that is a multiple of the denominators of all the fractions. A common denominator can be found by finding the least common multiple (LCM) of the denominators.
- Once students have found the common denominator, they need to learn to convert each fraction so that it has the same denominator as the others. This is done by multiplying both the numerator and denominator of each fraction by the same number so that the denominator is equal to the common denominator.
- After converting the fractions to have the same denominator, they can add the numerators of the converted fractions.
- The denominator will be the least common denominator that was found earlier.
How Do You Subtract Fractions?
Finding the sum of fractions is one thing, but how do students find the difference?
- Students will once again need to find a common denominator — a common multiple of the denominators of the fractions.
- Once they have found a common denominator, they can convert each fraction so that it has the same denominator as the others.
- After converting the fractions to have the same denominator, students can subtract the numerators of the converted fractions to find the numerator of the difference. The denominator of the difference will be the common denominator that they found earlier.
How Do You Multiply Fractions?
Once students have adding and subtracting fractions down, they might find that multiplying is a lot simpler!
To multiply two or more fractions, you simply multiply the numerators (the top parts) together to get the numerator of the product, and then multiply the denominators (the bottom parts) together to get the denominator of the product.
How Do You Divide Fractions?
It's time for one last operation! Dividing fractions is one of the more complicated processes elementary students will have to handle when it comes to working with fractions. They will need to know how to invert fractions before they can dive in, aka flipping the numerator and denominator.
To divide fractions, teach students to:
- Invert the second fraction.
- Multiply the two fractions.
- Simplify the quotient — if possible — by finding the greatest common factor of the numerator and denominator and dividing both by it, to get the final answer in simplest form.
How Do You Simplify Fractions?
Simplifying a fraction is pretty, well, simple! It means reducing it to its simplest form. To do this, students will find an equivalent fraction that has the same value but with a smaller numerator and denominator. The numerator and denominator of a simplified fraction have no common factors other than 1.
To simplify a fraction, you can divide both the numerator and denominator by their greatest common factor. You'll then need to keep dividing by the greatest common factor until it is equal to 1, which means that the fraction can't be simplified any further. And there you have it — a simplified fraction!
Equivalent Fraction Wall - Poster
Guide students to develop an understanding of fractions with the same value by using an equivalent fractions chart in your classroom.
Adding and Subtracting Fractions PowerPoint
A 17-slide editable PowerPoint Template to use when teaching your students how to add and subtract fractions.
Converting Decimals, Fractions, and Percentages – Worksheet
Strengthen your students’ understanding of how to convert a percent to a decimal and a fraction with this worksheet.
Dividing Shapes Into Equal Parts – Worksheet
Practice partitioning shapes and shading fraction models with this math worksheet for 2nd and 3rd-grade students.
Fractions Flip Book
A hands-on resource to help introduce the concept of fractions.
Converting Improper Fractions – Worksheet
Practice converting improper fractions to mixed numbers with this 1-page worksheet.
Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying, and Dividing Fractions Posters
Posters outlining the processes involved when adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing like and unlike fractions .
Partitioning Shapes – Basic Fraction Worksheets
Identify equal parts and practice partitioning shapes with these fraction worksheets designed for 1st and 2nd grade.
Halves and Fourths – Cut and Paste Worksheet
Practice sorting objects partitioned into halves and fourths with this cut-and-paste worksheet.
Types of Fractions – Poster
Display information about proper fractions, improper fractions, and mixed numbers with this free math poster.
Fractions Number Line - Thirds, Sixths, and Twelfths
Demonstrate the concept of thirds, sixths, and twelfths on a number line with a printable number line display and student reference sheets.
Adding Fractions with Common Denominators Worksheet
A worksheet to consolidate students' understanding of adding fractions with common denominators.
Fraction and Decimal Dominoes - Tenths and Hundredths
30 dominoes to reinforce students' understanding of converting fractions to decimals.
Fractions and Decimals Assessment - Year 3 and Year 4
A four-page assessment covering various fractions and decimals concepts.
Dividing Fractions - Task Cards
Practice dividing a fraction by a fraction with this set of 24 task cards.
Multiplying Fractions Task Cards
Practice multiplying fractions with a set of 12 task cards.
Equivalent Fractions - Cookie Jar Sorting Activity
Review equivalent fractions with this whole-class sorting activity that gets students moving and simplifying!
Identifying Fractions – Task Cards
Practice interpreting visual representations of fractions with this set of twenty task cards.
Fractions on a Number Line - Halves, Quarters, and Eighths
Demonstrate the concept of fractions on a number line with a printable number line display and student reference sheets.
Number Talks - Fractional Reasoning Task Cards
Build fractional reasoning skills with this set of 16 task cards.
Introduction to Fractions – Interactive Instructional Slide Deck
Use this instructional slide deck to teach your students how to identify the parts of a fraction, determine equal and unequal parts, and use numerators and denominators to write fractions.
Equivalent Fractions Chart – Differentiated Worksheets
Use a fraction wall to find equivalent fractions and compare fractions with this set of differentiated worksheets.
Equivalent Fractions – Instructional Slide Deck
Teach your students how to find equivalent fractions by using a number line, shaded models, or a fraction chart with this instructional slide deck.
Equivalent Fractions on a Number Line – Differentiated Worksheets
Practice placing equivalent fractions on a number line with this cut-and-paste worksheet.
Identifying Fractions Game – I Have, Who Has?
Practice identifying fraction models and fractions on a number line with an exciting I Have, Who Has game.
Comparing Fractions – Instructional Slide Deck
Teach your students about comparing fractions with like numerators or denominators by means of visual models, number lines, and mathematical reasoning.
Understanding Fractions – Exit Tickets
Assess student understanding of basic fractions with this set of 24 math exit tickets.
Comparing Unit Fractions – War Game
Improve student understanding of how to compare fractions with an exciting game of war!
Mixed Numbers - Fraction Model Match-Up
Practice matching improper fractions, mixed numbers, bar models, and fraction number lines with this set of 36 match-up cards.
Fraction, Decimal, and Percentage Bingo
32 different bingo cards to practice identifying equivalent fractions, decimals, and percentages.
What's My Card? Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages - Game
A set of cards to be used in a Guess Who? Board Game for students to reinforce their knowledge of fractions, decimals, and percentages.
Equivalent Fractions Pizza Bingo - Whole, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8
32 different bingo cards to practice finding equivalent fractions involving 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8.