After struggling for years to get kids to relearn how to add fractions correctly, I came up with a "game" they could use to learn how to do it using M & M's. (Candy has its place in our educational system!)
The main idea is to set up equations using M & M's: instead of writing factors like (x+3) or (2x -1), they use factors like "R" (for red), "G" for green, and so forth.
The first step is to reduce each fraction as much as possible. (If all terms "cancel out," then a 1 remains.)
The next step is to multiply each fraction by 1/1 or its equivalent, until both denominators are equal.
Once they have a common denominator, they add numerators.
The first page is suitable for 5th graders and up; the second page is for more advanced students.
I have found that once they get the hang of it, they can finish them rapidly.
I use this activity within cooperative groups, and I circulate to make sure they are getting the purpose of the questions.
This worksheet is intended to be written on directly.
Please download the pdf preview file first, so you can see exactly what's included; the product file is a word document, which you may personalize for your students.
Keywords: fractions, common denominator, adding fractions, numerator, denominator, Jonnard