I use play dough to teach students about fractions in a hands-on way. You can use small pie pans and loaf pans with plastic knives. Students can then partition the shapes into fractions and they are better able to compare them. They quickly understand that the higher the denominator, the smaller portion they will get. As, well we are able to talk about the attributes of the shapes we are partitioning. The recipe has a list of the Common Core Standards that students are working towards through this activity.
I send home the recipe with students so that they can make the dough at home.