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Equivalent Fractions

Diagnostic Test

Overview of
fractions

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Lesson Title: Ordering fractions and fraction Equivalence

Note: This lesson gives teachers a lot of different models for showing
fraction equivalences as well as the algorithm of multiplying numerator
and denominator by the same number to generate equivalent fractions.
The models include fraction strips, fraction circles, paper folding,
counters, an area model, fraction dominoes and a fraction tower. The
teacher may decide to use some or all of these depending on students
prior knowledge.

Prior Knowledge

Students need to be familiar with basic fraction concepts including ordering of


fractions.
Students will have used fraction circles, fraction strips and the number line to
help visualise and order fractions.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of studying this topic, students will be able to

consolidate fraction ordering strategies through use of fraction strips or


the number line and the use of 0, and 1 as benchmarks
review their understanding of equivalent fractions and consolidate their
mental images of same using paper folding
develop and understand the symbolic rule for finding equivalent fractions
by multiplying numerator and denominator by the same number
reverse this process when reducing a fraction to its simplest form by
dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number
1 1 2 1 3 1 1
, , , , , ,
Evaluate and know common equivalent fractions for 2 3 3 4 4 6 8

Materials:

Sheet of fraction strips for each student and fraction circles


Fraction circle transparencies for thirds, sixths and ninths
Narrow strips of paper (for paper folding) cut from the length of A4 sheets
rather than the width to facilitate folding into a greater number of parts.
Counters or any other discrete objects to show groups of objects and
reducing fractions
Uni fix cubes or transparency showing of one whole which is the same
length as 7/8 of another whole.

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Fraction Towers to show equivalent fractions

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Equivalent Fractions

Did you know that if you were on the moon gravity would be 1/6 of what it is on earth so you would feel 6 times lighter!

Students Learning Tasks: Teacher Input Student Activities: Teachers Support and Actions Checking Understanding
Possible and
Responses
Review of the last days work Give each student a sheet of If students can reason
ordering fractions. fraction strips / fraction circles. correctly on ordering the
Write this as a heading in your copy. 7/6 >1 and is the Move around the room and fractions then they can
Order the following fractions from biggest check students work. move on to equivalent
smallest to largest and explain your Where there are difficulties fractions and the
reasoning. Work in pairs and discuss 1/17 is the smallest. ask: operations of addition
and write down your reasons. Eighteenths are Which is the smallest? and subtraction.
Do not use common denominators. smaller parts but 7/18 Which is bigger or
Use fraction strips/circles/number line to is close to but less 7/18? If they are having
help visualise the answers. than it (9/18 = ) Could you describe 4/8 difficulty they must use
3 1 7 7 4 6 whereas 1/17 is close any other way? drawings of fraction
, , , , , to 0. circles/ strips/ the
4 17 6 18 8 7 , Remind students to use 0,
and 1 as benchmarks. number line and get
4/8 is the same as . Teacher writes the fractions in more practice with these
order as given by the students. ordering types of
is bigger than Pictorial representations questions.
and should overcome
I want one person from each pair to give 6/7 is only 1/7 away Students who have good
an explanation for the ordering they misconceptions due to
from 1 whereas is a whole number reasoning. fraction sense should be
have used. quarter less than 1 able to mentally
Different viewpoints should be
which is more than discussed with the class. visualise fractions in
1/7. Students who think 6/7 is relation to 0, and 1.
1/17, 7/18, 4/8, , bigger than because 6 is
Does everyone agree with the final 6/7, 7/6
positions and reasoning? bigger than 3 and 7 is bigger
Students explain in than 4 could be asked for
their own words the example if 6/12 is bigger than
position of a fraction .
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in the final list.

Name a fraction which is closer to 1 than


7/8, 8/9, 9/10 Ask students to look at the Can students reason that
6/7? Same number of sheet of fraction strips if they it should have smaller
parts but each one is are having difficulty. (Fraction parts and more of them?
smaller in the case of sheet on transparency also)
Why is 6/8 not bigger than 6/7? 6/8
Equivalent fractions class discussion different ways of saying using the sheet of fraction strips
Equivalent Fractions heading in Some students may Hand out the sheet of fraction Do students have good
your copy say that it means strips. mental images of why
In primary school you met equivalent different ways of fractions are equivalent?
fractions. What does this term mean? saying the same
Can you give examples? fraction.
Use the sheet of fraction strips to find , 2/4, 4/8 etc.
other ways of saying .
Give another way of saying which is 7/14, 8/16, 50/100 etc
not shown on the strips.
Why is = 4/8? The whole strip is Can students clearly
Why is 5/8? divided into 4 times explain what it means
as many parts with for two fractions to be
eights as with halves, equal and for two
so when you want fractions to be unequal.
one half you must
choose 4 eights.
Showing transparencies of thirds, sixths and ninths and overlaying them to show equivalence
Look at this fraction circle divided into Teacher shows transparencies
thirds. We will outline 2/3. This second Students see that 4/6 of fraction circles with thirds
transparency has the same size circle = 2/3 and sixths.
divided into sixths. Students see that 6/9
If we overlay them how many sixths in = 2/3
2/3? If we overlay the thirds circle with a
ninths circle how many ninths equal 2/3?
Show the same thing with fraction strips.
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Take 4/6 and compare to 2/3. How many Sixths is twice as Students should begin to see
times more equal parts is the circle many as thirds. the numerator and the
divided into with sixths than with thirds? Therefore need four denominator are multiplied by
Therefore if you want to keep the same sixths to make 2 the same number when
amount (2/3) how many times more thirds. forming equivalent fractions.
pieces must you choose? Both numerator and
What happens to the numerator and the denominator are
denominator of 2/3 to make 4/6? multiplied by 2
Can you explain in the same way why There are 3 times as Do students see the
2/3 =6/9 many parts in the pattern between the
Can you explain why = 2/8 circle with ninths numerator and
Can you explain why 2/8 = 4/16 compared to the denominator with
circle with thirds. To equivalent fractions?
choose the same
amount we need 3
times the number of
equal parts.
Both numerator and
denominator are
multiplied by 3.
Reducing fractions using story contexts and /or teacher /students could use counters to show groups of
Story context: In a class of 20, ten of 10/20 or This time we are splitting a Do students understand
the students are girls. What fraction of group into smaller equal that a fraction can be
the class are girls? groups with the same share, reduced to a simpler
In another class of 12 students one half 6/12 or hence dividing the numerator equivalent fraction when
are girls. Write the number of girls as a and denominator by the same the numerator and
fraction of the class in two different number to reduce the fraction. denominator are
ways. divisible by a common
(One out of every pair of students is a 6/30 or 3/15 or 1/5 value?
girl.)
On a hurling panel of 30 players, six of
the players are going to lose their place.
Write the number of players going to
lose their place as a fraction of the

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whole panel in three different ways.

Can anyboby make up with a story


maybe using hair colour or gender to
make a fraction of the total number of
people in the class?

How does 10/20 become ? Divide the numerator


and denominator by
Could we divide the numerator and 10.
denominator by any other number? Divide by 2 giving
5/10 =1/2
Divide by 5 giving 2/4
=1/2
We call this reducing a fraction to its Divide the top and Can the students explain
lowest terms. bottom of the fraction this back to you, in their
Explain how you do it. by the same number own words?
until you cannot find
a common divisor.
Can anyone come up with a similar real I had 10 sweets and I In simple examples students Are students able to
life example to give an equivalent ate 2 so I ate 2/10 should look on 10 as 5 groups apply fraction
fraction for 1/5? or 1/5 of my sweets. I of 2. Where students have a equivalence ideas to
ate one in every 5 difficulty show this with concrete examples?
sweets in the bag. concrete examples e.g. e.g sweets, pizza,
counters chocolate.

If I cut a pizza into 8 slices and I ate 2 2/8 = Can students explain the
slices, give 2 equivalent fractions which rationale behind fraction
represent this situation. 2/8 2/2 = equivalence in different
Can you explain why 2/8 = examples.
Given that there are 20 dogs in a show, 4/20 = 1/5 Group work activity
4 of them are sheep dogs give two Can they come with an
equivalent fractions which represent this 4/20 4/4 = 1/5 example and explain the
type of dog in this show. rationale in their own

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Can youexplain why 4/20 = 1/5 words.
Summarise what you mean by Fractions representing Teacher asks a few students to
equivalent fractions. the same amount even state in their own words what
if the partitions are equivalent fractions mean.
different. To find them
you either divide the
top and bottom of the
fraction by the same
number or else multiply
the top and bottom by
the same number.
Using paper folding to show what Some students may not
equivalent fractions mean and come need to do this but the
up with a symbolic rule for teacher will decide, based
generating them. Finding equivalent on the level students are at
fractions for and 2/3 by paper with fractions.
folding .
Fold one paper/ fraction strip into Students shade 3/4 Teacher distributes strips of
fourths and shade three fourths. paper to each pair of students
Make the fold creases clear.
Fold the strip to see how many eights 6 Some students may need help Students should see that
are equal to . with paper folding. really is the same as
Draw a diagram to show this also. First fold gave 2 halves, 6/8. Even though many
second fold gave 4 quarters know this from a rule a
and the third fold gave 8 mental picture will be
eights. We repeated folding in useful later on especially
= 6/8 half. in algebra.

The number of total parts went from 4 8 Teacher writes the explanation Do students see that
to? on the board as given by the when the total number
The number of shaded parts went from 3 6 students. of parts is doubled the
to? Multiply both of them 3 3 2 6 number of shaded parts
What do you do to 4 and 3 to make them by 2 is also doubled?
4 4 2 8
into 6 and 8? Students record this in
their copies
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Fold the next paper strip into thirds and Teacher distributes strips of
shade 2/3. paper to each pair of students.
Fold the paper strip to find out how To make thirds fold the paper
many ninths in 2/3. so that you have 1 loops.
How did you fold the paper strip to make It was folded into 3 Going from thirds to ninths
ninths? parts first and then may cause some students
each part folded into difficulty. They tend to
3 or repeatedly keep doubling. If they
folding into thirds. double, ending up with 6
parts ask them what would
you multiply 3 by to get 6.
Then what would you
multiply 3 by to get 9?
The number of total parts increased from 9 Teacher writes the explanation Do students see that
3 to? on the board as given by the when the total number
6 students. of parts is X3 the
The number of shaded parts increased 2 23 6 number of shaded parts
from 2 to? is also X3.
3 3 3 9
Record this in your copies
Fold the paper strip into thirds and
shade 1/3.
Fold the strip to find the missing number Students fold the 1 4 1 4 4 Do students see that
in this equation: paper in 3 and if each when the number of
3 ? 3 4 12
1 4 third is folded in 4 Students record this in shaded parts is X4, then
parts they have 12 the total number of parts
3 . What denominator is missing? their copies.
parts altogether. is X4.
Some students may note
this as multiplication by 1
but if they do not it need
not be emphasised at this
point. It is important that
they believe why certain
fractions are equivalent
and are aware of
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multiplying the top and
bottom by the same
number will generate
equivalent fractions.
The number of shaded parts increased 4 Have students been able
by how much? to show with fraction
The number of total parts increased by strips that = 6/8, 2/3
how much? 4 =6/9 and 1/3 = 4/12?
Multiplying by the identity 4/4 etc
Why was the amount 1/3 unchanged We multiplied it by Do students see that it is
even though we multiplied it by 4/4 which is 1 and only when you multiply
something? What did we multiply it by? when we multiply by the numerator and the
one we dont change denominator by 4 that
the value. the value remains
unchanged?
What else could we have multiplied by to 5/5, 6/6 or using any
generate equivalent fractions? number as long as we
multiply by the same
number top and
bottom.
Can you use the rule for generating The bottom line was Teacher writes some Are students able to
equivalent fractions to find equivalent multiplied by 3 to equivalent fractions on the reduce a fraction to a
12 give 18. Hence you board with missing numerators simpler form using the
= would divide by 3 to or denominators. rule they generated for
fractions to the following: 6 18 ?
go from 18 to 6 and equivalent fractions.
also divide 12 by 3. Ask the class and then ask an
individual student to explain,
writing the solution given on
the board.
The numerator and Circulate while students work Do students see that
6 24 denominator must be out the equivalent fractions in students need to work
= = multiplied or divided their copies. out the pattern given
9 3 ; 36 12 3
by the same number whether either the
to give and numerator or

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2/4 = 1/ ; 7/8 = 21/ equivalent fraction. denominator is missing?

How many equivalent fractions can Students each Write up all the fractions on Do students realise that
be generated from 1 fraction. e.g. generate a different the board as they are given by there are an infinite
how many equivalent fractions is it fraction equivalent to students. number of equivalent
possible to write down for 2/3? Can I 2/3 by multiplying the fractions for any one
have one for everyone in the class? numerator and fraction?
denominator by the
same number.
They realise that they
an infinite number of
equivalent fractions
can be generated
from any one fraction.

Can 2/3 be reduced to a simpler form? No, it is not possible Best to avoid the word Do students see that
Explain. to find a whole cancelling as students often although a fraction
number which will use it erroneously. Here they cannot be reduced
divide evenly into the see why the procedure is being further, e.g. 2/3, it can
numerator and done. however have an
denominator. infinite amount of
equivalent fractions.

Student Activity

**A student claims that she can show The whole or unit is Teacher shows these 2 strips
that is the same as 7/8 using the different in both on a transparency or using uni
fraction strips below. cases. of one unit fix cubes.
is the same as 7/8 of
a different sized unit,

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but when we speak of Students must always be
and 7/8 without aware of what the unit or
She says that they are the same length giving the unit we whole is when dealing with
and have the same area. assume the same size fractions, especially in word
Does this make sense to you? unit and then is not problems and in division of
equal to 7/8. fractions. of what = 7/8 of
what?
Working in pairs complete Student Students either use Students who know the rule for Can students move
Activities 1 the rule or partition forming equivalent fractions between the concrete
Do FRACTION DOMINOES activity first to find the will use the rule first and then and symbolic
missing number. decide how to partition the representations of
picture. The exercise will give equivalent fractions to
meaning to the rule for them. increase their
understanding?

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Student Activity 1

1. Find the equivalent fraction in each case. Show on the fraction strip why your
answer makes sense.

3
5 15

2
3 12

5
6 24

9

12 4

2. Find

equivalent
fractions using the

multiplication
rule:

2 ; 1 ; 3 ; 2=
7 14 2 10 8 16 3 12
3. Fill in the missing numbers in these equivalent fractions

1 Write down 4 fractions equivalent to


16
Write down 4 fractions equivalent to 3
24
1 1
Write down 3 fractions equivalent to 4 Write down 3 fractions equivalent to 6

1 2
Write down 6 fractions equivalent to 2 Write down 3 fractions equivalent to 3

Fill in the missing numbers in the equivalent fractions below

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3 1 3 12
12 16
5 4 =

1 = 5 =
12 4
Q: Jane got 10 out of 15 for her test and Mark got 15 out of 20 in his test. Anita
said that they both did equally well because they both got 5 wrong. Is Anita
correct? Explain your answer.

Area Model for equivalent fractions

Give students a worksheet with 4 to 5 equal rectangles in a row. Alternately


students can draw 5 rectangles/squares in a row using the template from their
geometry sets.

Shade in the same fraction in each rectangle using vertical dividing lines. E.g.
slice each square in fourths using vertical dividing lines. Shade in the same
fraction in each rectangle e.g.


shaded
in all
rectangl
es

Now slice each square into an equal number of horizontal slices. Each square is
sliced with a different number of horizontal slices anything from 1 to 8. The
same amount is still shaded.

For each sliced square write an equation showing the equivalent fraction of the
shaded part

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shaded
in all
rectangl
3 3 2 6 es

4 4 2 8

= 6/8 = 9/12 =12/16 = 18/24


= 24/32

Homework

1 1
1. Are there fractions between 7 and 8 ?

If so name a fraction between 1/7 and 1/8

Can you list 2 fractions between 1/7 and 1/8?


__________________________________

1 1
(Hint: Make a list of equivalent fractions for 7 and 8 )

2.

R
S
T

What fraction is R of the whole square? ______________________

What fraction in S of the whole square? ______________________

What fraction is T of the whole square? _______________________

What fraction is U of the whole square? ______________________

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Teacher notes:

1/7, 2/14, 3/21, 4/28

1/8, 2/16, 3/24, 4/32

One fraction between 2/14 and 2/16 is 2/15 which is therefore between 1/7 and
1/8

Between 3/21 and 3/24 lies 3/22 and 3/23

Or students might get common denominators 1/7= 8/56 and 1/8 = 7/56 i.e.
16/102 and 14/102 and 15/102 lies between these 2.

When you add the numerators and denominators of 2 proper


fractions you actually get a fraction between the 2 fractions
another reason why it is not a valid method of addition.

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Fraction Strips Activity Paper Folding Students should not be told exactly
how to make each unit fraction as in finding this out they will learn for example
that each third is 3 ninths etc.

Cut up strips of equal lengths - 8 to 10 per student, each about 1 wide


from the longer side of an A4 sheet.
Each student labels 1 strip with the number 1 - the unit strip.
Fold the next strip in and label each section . Draw a line through the
fold so that it can be seen. It is important to be able to see the folds
clearly and if they are not done properly start with a new strip.
Fold the next strip into thirds by making 1 and loops and folding at the
ends. Label each section as 1/3 and again draw a line through the folds.
Fold a strip into half and in half again for quarters and again label and
draw lines.
To fold a strip into fifths make 2 loops and fold the ends then label and
draw lines on the folds.
To fold into sixths, fold into thirds first and then fold this in half or make 3
loops.
Sevenths can be made with 3 loops.
Eights can be got by folding in half 3 times.
Ninths can be made by making thirds first and then using 1 loops
again.
Tenths can be made by folding for fifths first and then folding in half.

To do:
1. Find as many ways as possible to make 1 using 2 and 3 fraction
bars .e.g. 4/8+3/12 +1/4 etc. Use the fifths as well as the others.
2. Use the fraction bars to make inequalities e.g 5/6 < 7/8 etc.

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1 unit or 1 whole

1 1
2 2
1 1 1
3 3 3
1 1 1 1
4 4 4 4
1 1 1 1 1
5 5 5 5 5
1 1 1 1 1 1
6 6 6 6 6 6
1 1 1 1 1 1 1
7 7 7 7 7 7 7
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12

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1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15

1 unit or 1 whole
1 1
2 2
1 1 1
3 3 3
1 1 1 1
4 4 4 4
1 1 1 1 1
5 5 5 5 5
1 1 1 1 1 1
6 6 6 6 6 6
1 1 1 1 1 1 1
7 7 7 7 7 7 7
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15

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Fraction Circles

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