Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spark Student Motivation-Ordering Fractions and a Freebie

Happy Saturday! Even though I barely worked this week with all the snow days and two-hour-delays I am so thankful for the weekend! I'm also super excited to link up with the fabulous Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching!

A few weeks ago my students and I began our intensive study on Fractions. For some reason fractions really freak my kiddos our every year. As soon as I say the word they panic...does anyone else have this happen in their classrooms? Due to this, I always start out slow, review the basics, and add in fun activities as often as I can. This really helps to overcome that fear.

To help my students learn to order fractions I give them this Fraction Bar Chart that you can grab for free from TPT. I then give my students a baggie filled with small food items. I've used Lucky Charms, M&Ms, Skittles, etc. This year we used Goldfish because that is what I happened to have on hand. The students and I work together to compare fractions using the Goldfish to mark our spots on the fraction chart.

As the students get more confident, I give them multiple fractions to order. They use their fraction bar charts to identify the fractions and then write their answers down on mini white boards so I can quickly walk around and check them.

Even though this lesson is a little less-mini than most of my mini-lessons my students are engaged the entire time. Of course at the end of the lesson they are able to eat their treat...and that definitely motivates them!

How do you introduce students to ordering fractions?


  1. What a fun idea to introduce this skill! I'm introducing this skill this did you know?? Food is always motivating! Thanks for the idea and linking up!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. You are absolutely right that kids get freaked out when we begin fractions. I had students that began worrying about it back in September, even though the unit isn't until late February. They also felt that way about long division. No wonder math anxiety exists! I love the activities you used to help your kiddos feel more comfortable. Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  3. Great idea! I am going to try this out with my Intervention group:). Thanks!

  4. Food (candy) is a great motivator for students and teachers. There is no substitute like candy. I'm going to have to try this out. Thanks so much Bethany


  5. Can't wait to use this with my intervention group.


  6. I can't for the life of me remember where we got them, but we have plastic fraction bars in our class. (Maybe from our math series?) I need to add some food in with that!!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  7. We start our study of fractions with fair sharing problems to connect fractions to division (Ex. 5 brownies being shared by 6 children). It makes the transition go a lot more smoothly when they realize they can use what they already know about working with whole numbers to help them work with fractions!