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Help build your students’ proficiency with regrouping and renaming when adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators with this set of task cards and printables. The 32 task cards will provide your students with the necessary practice to build skills with addition and subtraction with unlike denominators. Extend your students’ practice (or assess their level of mastery) with the four included worksheets. With these resources, your students will grow stronger in their understanding of key fractional computation concepts.

NOTE: This product is available as part of my Adding & Subtracting Unlike Denominators bundle. This bundle includes three different sets of task cards & printables, a set of self-checking puzzles, and two sets of I Have…Who Has? cards that are only available in the bundle – and you can save over 20% on the cost of the individual products!

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Common Core State Standards for Mathematics addressed:
Numbers and Operations – Fractions (5.NF)
Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions.
• Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators. For example, 2/3 + 5/4 = 8/12 + 15/12 = 23/12. (In general, a/b + c/d = (ad + bc)/bd.) (5.NF.1)
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Included:
• 2 graphic reference sheets
• 4 activity sheets and key/scoring guide

This set is a follow-up to my Foxy Fractions task card set. That set addressed the same concept of adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, using only proper and improper fractions in which one fraction could be renamed to have the same denominator as the other. If you are looking for some materials to use as an introduction to adding and subtracting with unlike denominators, the Foxy Fractions set may be a useful starting point.

This set also uses fractions in which one denominator can be renamed to have the same denominator as the other. This set differs from the Foxy Fraction set in that this set uses mixed numbers, and students will either need to regroup the minuend in order to subtract the subtrahend or regroup the sum in order to write it as a proper fraction.

I have found that subtraction with regrouping is one of the trickier skills in fraction computation. Students are trained to regroup and make a ten, and so it can throw them off to regroup and get a number other than ten. In order to make this process a little simpler, I chose to begin with fractions in which only one fraction needed to be renamed to make like denominators. This way, there would be less steps involved in the computation process. Once students have a firm grasp on subtracting with regrouping, I would use fractions in which both denominators need to be renamed.

The first 16 cards present equations that use a mixed number and a proper fraction. The equations on cards 1-8 present equations that have an unknown sum or difference, while cards 9-16 up the challenge level by presenting equations with missing addends, minuends, and subtrahends. [One of the two reference sheets provides a quick review of the vocabulary used to describe the elements of addition and subtraction equations.] The second half of the cards (cards 17-32) follow the same format as the first half, but they have equations that use two mixed numbers.

Practicing the Concept

There are lots of ways in which you can implement the task cards. You can have the students work on them independently, working through the task cards on their own. The students can work on them in pairs or small groups, completing all the task cards in one session. You can use them in centers, having the students complete 6-8 task cards a day over the course of the week. You can even use them as a variation of “problem of the day”, giving each student 1 sheet of 4 cards to glue in their journals and solve, one sheet per day for eight days.

The variety of numbers and equation types on the cards allows for differentiation to the needs of your students. You can choose to have all the students complete the first 16 cards and then the second 16, or you can have some students work on cards 1 through 16 while those students who are more proficient with fraction relationships can work on cards 17 through 32. Alternately, you might have students complete cards 1-8 and 17 through 24 (which require students to find missing sums or differences) and then complete the other cards to practice with finding unknown addends, minuends, and subtrahends. You can meet a variety of needs with this one set of cards!

Reinforcing the Concept

Included among the printables are two handy reference sheets, perfect for your students’ math notbooks. The first of the two graphic reference sheets is half-page size and presents the terms “addend”, “sum”, “minuend”, “subtrahend”, and “difference” in the context of addition and subtraction equations. [NOTE: This reference sheet is nearly identical to one of the reference sheets found in my other Animal Fractions task card sets.] The second reference sheet is full-page size and shows students three different ways that renaming and regrouping can be used to find the difference of a mixed number and fraction with unlike denominators. Before you have your students complete the cards, you can have them glue the reference sheets in their journals. Since the terms “minued”, “subtrahend”, and “addend” are only used on cards 9 through 16 and 25 through 32, you may wish to introduce the full-page reference sheet when your students first begin working on the cards and then provide them with the half-page reference sheet before they work on cards that use those terms. Your students can use the journal inserts as guides while they work on the cards, as well as when they complete other tasks that relate to adding and subtracting fractions.

Assessing Student Understanding

The four provided activity sheets can be used to evaluate student understanding of adding and subtracting fraction with unlike denominators. Two of the activity pages are relatively straightforward, with each containing 9 addition and subtraction equations for which the students must find the unknowns. As with the task cards, all of the equations use fractions with denominators where one denominator is a factor of the other; students only have to rename one fraction to create like denominators. The other two activity sheets are designed to address a student’s ability to analyze solution strategies. These two pages present the student with a problem as well as the work of two students who arrived at the correct answer but used different methods. The student is then asked to compare the two methods. The pairs of worksheets are formatted similarly, and have similar types of questions, though the numbers on each are different. You can use these activity pages in a variety of ways. You could give one as a pre-test, then teach your lesson and allow students to practice with the task cards, and then give the second worksheet as an independent post-test. The worksheets could also be used as homework, center assignments, guided practice, or any other purpose that fits your teaching style or classroom routines.

For more practice with fractions, please check out the other related resources I have available –

Fraction Puzzlers – fraction story problems task cards + printables (set b)

In and Around - area and perimeter task cards + printables (set C)

Name That Equation fraction multiplication task cards + printables set

Fraction Attack – simplifying fraction ppt + printables set

Fraction Matchin’ equivalent fractions task cards + printables (set a)

Fraction Matchin’ equivalent fractions task cards + printables (set b)

Monkey Mania & Jumping Giraffes equivalent fractions games + task cards bundle

Flipping for Fractions activity card set

FREE self-checking mixed numeral/improper fraction puzzle set

I hope your students enjoy these resources and are able to build their proficiency with fractions. – Dennis McDonald
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