A Fraction of Fun

Two third graders using fraction bars to compare fractions.

When March hits, one thing comes to mind for third grade teachers…. fractions. The unit is always exciting for third grade students because it is their first glimpse at fractions. Students begin by learning the difference between equal and unequal parts and how to label unit fractions. The beginning of the unit is very visual, which helps students understand the basics of fractions. As the third graders get deeper into the fractions unit, they begin placing fractions on a number line, comparing fractions, and finding equivalent fractions. The ideas start become more abstract. Mrs. Fitzgibbon uses fraction manipulatives to help students really grasp these concepts. Last week, students began comparing fractions to determine what fraction was larger. Her students used fractions bars to help them solve problems. The use of manipulatives in math make abstract ideas more concrete to the students. The students had a great time using the manipulatives, but that is only a "fraction" of the fun they will have during this math unit!

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