The Fraction Strip

The Easy Way to Visualize fractions

fraction strip

Improve the way you teach fractions with the fraction strip hands-on approach!

Many students go through their school days with the fear of fractions hanging over their heads.  This should not be the case, so help me put an end to this madness! 

Fractions Strips Can Help!

Take equivalent fractions, for example.  When you're first teaching a youngster about equivalent fractions it's a whole lot easier for them to "get it" if they can "see it".  Take a look below.

equivalent fractions

The fraction one-half is equal to two-fourths.  It's easy for students to see this because the red rectangle is the same size as two blue rectangles.

thirds and sixths equivalent fractions

Now in this picture it's also easy for students to see what we mean when we say two-thirds is equal to four-sixths.  When we can  "see it" it starts to make a lot more sense!

You can print them and let your students get a hands-on experience with fractions - one of the best ways for them to get a better understanding of fractions! I'm making fraction strips that are both labeled and unlabeled. The first is below. More to come soon...

There are lots of ways to use the strips to teach and you probably have your own ideas of how you might use them.  Do you have a unique way to use fraction strips that might benefit parents and teachers, please do share!

Fraction Strip Ideas

1. Each student has their own set of fraction strips. Have students layout out strips with one-whole at the top. Arrange the other fraction strips underneath with largest strips on top and the smallest on the bottom. This helps them visualize how each size fraction compares to other sized fractions.

2. Call out a fraction and have students select the fraction strips that represent that fraction. So, you could start off and call out 3/4.  The students would then look through their set of strips and find fractions that are equivalent to 3/4. 

3. Ask the students what each whole fraction strip is equal to? Demonstrate how each fraction is equal to one whole and use this idea to introduce the idea of equivalent fractions. Ask how many halves equal one whole? How many fourths equal one whole, etc.?

4. Ask students to use the fraction strips to identify 1/2.   See if they can find other fraction strips that are the same size as the 1/2 fraction strip.   You should take the time to explain for example, why three 1/6 strips are equal to 1/2.  And of of course, we want to emphasize that this is the reason they're called equivalent fractions!

5. Have the students continue using the strips to model equivalent fractions for 1/4, 1/8, 1/3, 1/5, and 1/6.

These are just a few ideas. I'll be sharing more soon.  

So now that they have visualized fractions.....

Now's a good time to practice what they've learned with some of the printable fraction worksheets on the site.   And of course, if things get a little boring, remember this site is all about making math fun so be sure to check out the fraction games page.

By the way, even if you're already pretty familiar with them, this how to use fraction strips may be helpful for someone you else you may know.

Go to Fraction Games

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More Fraction Activities

Fraction Strip Addition/Subtraction:

Add / Subtract

with Fraction Strips