7 Awesome Tools to Teach Equivalent Fractions

Equivalent Fractions can be a difficult concept for your third grade and fourth grade students to grasp. I have all of the equivalent fractions manipulatives and materials you need to make teaching equivalent fractions a piece of cake! Your students are going to be equivalent fractions experts at the end of your lessons, if you stick with me.

Equivalent Fractions Tool #1: Building Bricks

Building Bricks are useful for your equivalent fractions lesson because you can model equivalent fractions using one brick. For example, if it’s a rectangular brick with six circles on it, we can say one circle equals ⅙. But if we want to represent two circles, the equivalent fraction can be 2/6 or ⅓ of the brick. Students can make equivalent fractions problems for their classmates based on these building bricks, and can use smaller pieces to represent the fractions too.

You can also show equivalent fractions by saying an eight-circle brick is 1 whole, and a six-circle brick is 6/8 or ¾, etc. Using building bricks to practice equivalent fractions is helpful because they can stack the blocks on top of each other to visually see how they are equivalent.

Equivalent Fractions Tool #2: Fraction Circles

Fraction Circles are another set of manipulatives that give a great visual and tactile approach to equivalent fractions for third grade and fourth grade. Students can stack pieces of the circles to see what is equivalent, or match them to equal halves, quarters, thirds, etc.

You can make your own fraction circles, for an added art/craft extension! I have a freebie in my TpT Store where your students can make mini pizza fraction circles. I’d love for you to download it and leave feedback on how it helped you teach equivalent fractions!

Equivalent Fractions Tool #3: Dominoes

Dominoes are great for (one) naming fractions and (two) finding equivalent fractions. Students must first determine which side is the numerator and which side is the denominator (bigger). Then, they can find other dominoes that are equivalent fractions to the first, with bigger and smaller numbers!

Equivalent Fractions Tool #4: Play Dough

All kids love play dough! They love to create, mold, and make with their imagination running wild. But, especially for students who thrive with tactile learning, play dough can help them practice equivalent fractions.

Lead your students in making circles or rectangles that are the same size, and then cutting them into different sized pieces that make equivalent fractions. Flatten the shapes out, and start again! Show them what makes the fractions equivalent, and which aren’t equivalent (pieces aren’t cut equally).

You can also put play dough in your equivalent fractions math centers with task cards! They have to make the equivalent fractions to solve the problems.


Equivalent Fractions Tool #5: Whiteboards

Whiteboards are another must-have in my classroom. We use them almost every day in math small groups, with sight word/spelling word practice, and so much more. You can get a class set for instant engagement with practice problems. They are so much more versatile than an equivalent fractions worksheet!

I love that students get to show their work on their boards, so I can easily walk around and see how they solve problems, and chat with them if needed. They can draw equivalent fraction models on their boards, you can ask them to make equivalent fractions by multiplying or dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number, the practice ideas are endless.

And, once again, they are a great addition to a center with task cards! Students don’t always need to turn something in to you - so if you want to save paper and make practicing equivalent fractions more interesting, try out whiteboards instead of worksheets!

Equivalent Fractions Tool #6: Fraction Bars

Fraction Bars are an essential when teaching equivalent fractions. Students can easily line up fraction pieces that are equivalent to each other. These equivalent fractions bars make small group instruction and practicing in groups and centers so easy. They are color-coded and easy for 3rd graders and 4th graders to understand.

You can also make your own equivalent fractions bars with sentence strips or cardstock! Making a larger-than-life set is a great way to teach equivalent fractions to your whole class- and they can follow along with their manipulatives!

Equivalent Fractions Tool #7: Number Lines

Number lines are an important visual tool for teaching equivalent fractions, because students can see the correlation between the fractions. I love dry erase number lines that are blank and can be written on, because you can have your students write the fractions you want them to on them. As seen below, it gives an easy way to see how fractions are equivalent to one another.

If you're looking for hands-on and fresh ways to teach equivalent fractions on a number line, you have to check out this post. Melissa is an equivalent fractions GENIUS!

I hope these tools have been helpful for you and given you some fresh ideas on how to best teach equivalent fractions. Please pin the images on this post so you can come back to it during your equivalent fractions unit! Which tools did I miss? Comment below!!

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