Operating with fractions will be extremely difficult for your child unless they can grasp the concept of equivalent fractions.
Teaching equivalent fractions
Explain to your child why equivalent fractions are important. They may not yet have tried addition or subtraction with fractions but you can introduce equivalency by comparing fractions.
Use hands-on activities. For example, take a pizza, cut it in half then cut one half into three equal slices. The single half and the half cut into three should appear equal. 1⁄2 = 3⁄6
The example below uses a pie, cut into equal pieces, to show equivalent fractions.
How to find equivalent fractions
Look at the pie example above. Notice how the top and bottom (numerator and denominator) of the fraction is increasing by a factor of 2. In other words, they are both being multiplied by 2.
Multiplying or dividing both the numerator and denominator of a fraction will result in an equivalent fraction. Here are some more examples:
Do the same to both the numerator and the denominator
Questions often require equivalent fractions to be written when only the numerator or denominator are given. The examples below show how these questions can be answered.
Remember: Only use multiplication or division when finding equivalent fractions. Do not use addition or subtraction.
Before moving on to work with fractions, it is important that your children understand equivalency of fractions. Be sure they can accurately determine larger and smaller equivalent fractions. Ask them to describe what they are doing to determine equivalent fractions?
Practice working with equivalent fractions using the worksheets below.
- Equivalent Fractions (1 of 3) e.g. 1/3 = 3/9
- Equivalent Fractions (2 of 3) e.g. 9/3 = 1/3
- Equivalent Fractions (3 of 3)
You can use this fraction bar to help illustrate equivalency of fractions.
Online Fraction Games
The two fraction games below will help with practicing equivalent fractions.
You will also find some more fraction games here.