Teaching Equivalence in Fractions with Unlike Denominators to 4th Graders

954 words 4 pages
Once students get to the fourth grade, learning equivalence in fractions with unlike denominators is something that they can look forward to...or not look forward to. It can be a very tough lesson and something that is hard for the children to understand. They need to have a simple understanding of fractions already. They need to know what they are and how they add up together. Meaning that they need to understand that fractions are a part of a whole...a fraction of something, and that if the fractions are equal they can add up to create a whole. The easiest way to describe this and review it is with a circle representing a pie. Each slice comes from the pie and all put together its a whole. Also the stronger the students is with their …show more content…

This is going to tell you two times what equals 4. The answer is 2. From here the teacher can write out the problem and work it.

2 x 2= 4
— —
5 x 2= 10

So 2/5 times 2 on both the top and the bottom equal 4/10.

Then the teacher explains how the process of cross-multiplying works and how to to determine if fractions are equivalent to each other by using this method. The teacher would explain that if two fractions are presented as ½ and 5/10, then you multiply 1 times 10 and then multiply 5 times 2. The answers should both be 10. In this example the two fractions are equal to each other because the answer to both problems is 10. A second example would be the fractions ¾ and 2/12 and you multiply 3 times 12 and 2 times 4, these answers are not the same and so these fractions are not equivalent to each other. This is because the answers to the multiplication problems are 36 and 8.

Once the lesson is taught, the teacher will give students practice questions and problems to further secure their understanding of equivalent fractions. The following problems are examples teachers can use.

Please write an equivalent fraction for the following fractions:
2/4 _______
10/10 _______
2/8 _______

Are the following fractions or numbers equivalent? If not what is the equivalent?
4/4 and 1? ______
2/3 and 4/6 ? ______
1/3 and 3/6 ? ______