Looking for fun, kid-friendly materials to help your students practice recognizing fractional names for whole numbers? This set of games and printables is the perfect resource for practicing (and assessing) your students’ understanding of the relationship between whole numbers and fractions. Simply provide some game pawns and a paper clip, and your next fraction lesson is ready to go!
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics addressed:
Numbers and Operations – Fractions
Develop understanding of fractions as numbers.
• Express whole numbers as fractions, and recognize fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers. Examples: Express 3 in the form 3 = 3/1; recognize that 6/1 = 6; locate 4/4 and 1 at the same point of a number line diagram. (3.NF.3c)
• 2 gameboards
• 2 sets of spinners
• recording sheet
• number line reference sheet
• 2 assessment activities (with scoring guides)
Fraction concepts are a major focus of the Common Core State Standards for Math in intermediate grades. Significant instruction with fractions begins in third grade, and by fifth grade, students are expected to be able to multiply and divide fractions. One major fraction concept is equivalence, and as part of this, students are expected to recognize and express fractions as whole numbers (and vice versa). Building a student’s flexibility with fraction and whole number names lays the foundation for later work with mixed numbers. Students who know that twelve-fourths equals three wholes will be more likely to quickly recognize that thirteen-fourths equals three and one-fourth without the work of a multi-step procedure. Later on, in fifth grade, students will be primed to understand fraction as division if they have a firm understanding of fractional names for whole numbers.
The two games in this set are designed to help students practice identifying fractions that are equivalent to whole number. The games are complementary, with Panda Pathways featuring fractions on the board and whole number on the spinners, and Panda Pathways Two is the reverse – whole numbers on the board and fractions on the spinner. As students play, a player spins to get a number, then moves his or her pawn to a connected number that is equivalent to the one spun.
The fractions used in the two games are limited to those with denominators 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8, and the whole numbers are limited to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8. I chose to limit the numbers in this way in the hopes that the repeated exposures to the same fraction/whole number pairs would build my students’ automaticity with recognizing common fractional names for whole numbers. Another benefit to using just these denominators is that they match the fractional pieces used in most commercially-sold fraction manipulatives, such as fractions bars and fractions circles. This allows you to have your students use a concrete representation of the fractions on the board when you introduce the game.
The printables consist of a recording sheet, number line reference sheets, and two assessment activities. As students play, have them use the recording sheet to show the relationship between the fraction spun and the fraction on the board. Recording the number pairs will help reinforce the relationship for your students, making it more likely they will remember the two numbers as being equivalent. Plus, when the students have finished playing, you can use the recording sheet as a quick classwork grade!
While playing, students can use the accompanying number line reference sheet as a guide when matching the whole numbers and fractions on the board and spinners. The reference sheet presents number lines that have 0 and 6 as their endpoints. The number lines are divided into halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, and eighths, with whole numbers (and their equivalent fractional names) labeled on the number lines. Students can glue the sheets in their journals for handy reference as they explore other fraction concepts. You can even have the reference sheets enlarged to poster size and hang them in your room as a reference for your students during your fraction unit.
Two versions of the number line reference sheets are included. The first two pages have number lines that are fully labeled with whole number and fractional names through 6 wholes. The second version has the same number lines, and the whole numbers through 6 are identified. However, fractional names are given only through 2 wholes. For the remaining wholes, the students are given the denominator but have to fill in the correct numerator. I included this is you want to have a more interactive option for the number lines. You can use this instructionally, discussing the patterns in numerators and denominators and asking you students to extend those patterns to identify the missing numerators.
The two assessment tasks that are designed be used in conjunction with the number line reference sheets. They are formatted similarly, though the numbers on each are different. They require students to examine the fraction/whole number pairs on the number lines and write about the patterns evident in the numbers. Since the two tasks are similar, you may choose to use them as pre/post assessment; give one before you introduce the concept, allow the students time to interact with the number lines and play the games, and then give the second task to assess the growth in their understanding. You may also choose to use them instructionally, engaging your class in a discussion about the numbers and fractions on the number line and then having them pull together their thinking by communicating their understanding in writing. Whether used as an extension of the games or an assessment of mastery, these tasks are a valuable tool for use during your fraction instruction.
Reinforcing and Extending Student Understanding
For more practice with whole number/fraction relationships, you may find these other products helpful –
Whole-y Fractions – fraction & whole number equivalence task cards + printables
Bamboo-zled - fraction & whole number equivalence task cards and printables set
The Whole-y Fractions
task card and printables sets address the same concept as this set but do not have any repeat pages or resources. The materials in each of those resources are unique from the ones included with this set.
I designed the Whole-y Fractions
task card set as a beginner set to use when first introducing students to fraction/whole number relationships. All of the cards and assessment materials in that set use visual models, presenting students with four different pictorial representations of whole numbers and improper fractions. Students will have to examine the models and identify the whole number and fraction represented by each one.
task card set, on the other hand, is intended to provide the next level of challenge to students studying fraction/whole number relationships. The cards and assessment materials do not use visual models, presenting only numeric representations.
The Whole-y Fractions
may be useful before you use the Bamboo-zled
materials, or as a supplement to help those students who are struggling with the concept, whole the Bamboo-zled
set are intended for students who already have some understanding of fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers and are able to construct their own models or use the patterns evident in the numbers to compare the fractions and whole numbers presented.
For more practice with fractions, please check out the other related resources I have available –
Monkey Mania & Jumping Giraffes equivalent fractions games + task cards bundle
Fraction Matchin’ equivalent fractions task cards + printables (set a)
Fraction Matchin’ equivalent fractions task cards + printables (set b)
Froggy Fractions - adding/subtracting like denominators task cards + printables
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