Adding Fractions with Like Denominators using Unit Fraction Models

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Resource Type
Common Core Standards
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This activity can be used to teach or review the skill described below for the Virginia Standards of Learning for Third Grade:

3.2 The student will:

b) represent fractions and mixed numbers, with models and symbols;

• Using a model of a fraction greater than one, count the fractional parts to name and write it as an improper fraction and as a mixed number. (b)
• Students need opportunities to use models to count fractional parts that go beyond a whole. For instance, if students are counting five slices of cake and building the cake as they count, where each slice is equivalent to one-fourth, they might say “one-fourth, two-fourths, three-fourths, four-fourths, five-fourths.” As a result of building the whole while they are counting, they begin to realize that four-fourths make one whole and the fifth-fourth starts another whole, and they begin to develop flexibility in naming this amount in different ways (e.g., five-fourths or one and one-fourth). They will begin to generalize that when the numerator and the denominator are the same, there is one whole and when the numerator is larger than the denominator, there is more than one whole. They also will begin to see a fraction as the sum of unit fractions (e.g., three-fourths contains three one-fourths or four-fourths contains four one-fourths which is equal to one whole). This provides students with a visual, as in the example below, for when one whole is reached and develops a greater understanding of numerator and denominator.
Total Pages
3 pages
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Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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