Circle Sectors

Standard Met: CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.B.3

What You Need: Circle Sectors Game Board, crayons or colored pencils in two colors, two dice

What To Do: Divide the class into pairs and ask each opposing player to select a different color. Then, players take turns rolling the dice. The smaller number rolled is the numerator; the larger is the denominator. After they roll, players search the board for circles that include the fractional amount they’ve rolled and color those in. If a player colors half of a circle, he or she wins that circle for the rest of the game. The player with the most circles wins the game. A few options to make the game more exciting: A player may choose to split a roll. For example, if the roll is 2/6, a player may color in 1/3 of one circle and 1/3 of another. Also, a player may color in an equivalent amount on a circle. For example, if the roll is 1/2, the student may color in 1/4 of one circle and 1/4 of another.

Parts of a Whole

Standard Met: CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.2

What You Need: Fraction cards and game directions

What To Do: Teach students to compare fractions by challenging them to place fraction cards on a DIY number line. Before you begin, make a copy of the game directions and fraction cards for each pair of students. (Consider laminating them.) To start, have each duo place the 0 card at one end of a desk and the 1 card at the other. Place the 1/2 card right in the middle. Then, shuffle the fraction cards and deal six to each player. The object of the game is to place as many cards as you can on the invisible number line.

Players take turns placing a card according to the following rules: Each card must touch one side of another card on the desk, and a card may not be placed between two cards that are touching. For example, if a 1/4 card is placed next to the 1/2 card, and you have a 1/3 card, you will not be able to place it. As they place cards, students should think about limiting their opponent’s options while leaving possibilities open for themselves based on which cards they’re holding. A round is over when a player can no longer place any cards following these rules. The number of cards left in a player’s hand is his or her final score — the lower the score the better!

Fraction Flash

Standard Met: CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.2

What You Need: Index cards

What To Do: This lightning-round-style game reinforces fraction sense. To begin, create a set of fraction cards using index cards. Depending on the concepts you want to work on, these could include mixed numbers, improper fractions, unit fractions, and non-unit fractions.

In class, divide your students into two teams before writing a statement on the board such as “More Than 1/2.” Tell your class that you will be flashing a fraction card at them and that they must respond by raising their hands and saying “More than 1/2” or “Less than 1/2.” Once students raise their hands, choose someone to answer. That student must then explain why the fraction is more than 1/2 or less than 1/2. If he or she is correct, that team wins a point. (To make this noncompetitive, forgo teams and tell students they are all working together to score the most class points possible.)

Other possible prompts for Fraction Flash include: More Than 1, Less Than 1, Between 1/2 and 1, Between 1/4 and 3/4, Between 1 and 2. Students can even suggest the Fraction Flash prompt for the day.

Puzzle Challenge

Standard Met: CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.B.3.a

What You Need: Paper, pencils

What To Do: When we think about fractions, there are three ideas that occur simultaneously: the whole, the fraction, and the part. If you have a bag of 16 cookies, that’s the whole. If you give me 1/2 (the fraction), the part you give me is eight. Using these three words, ask students to write challenge puzzles where a partner must figure out the missing part. For example, “I have four jelly beans. That’s 1/3 of the bag. How many jelly beans are in the whole bag?” (12). Or, “I have 3/4 of the box of pencils, and there are 16 pencils in the whole box. How many pencils do I have?” (12). Encourage students to write a variety of problems alternating which idea of the three is left out: the whole, the part, or the fraction.

Equivalent Fractions

Standards Met: CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.1; 4.NF.A.2

What You Need: Index cards

What To Do: Using index cards, make two sets each of fraction cards (1/2, 1/4, 2/4, 1/8, 2/8, 1/12, 3/4, 2/8, 4/8, and 7/8) and denominator cards (with the numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 24, and 32). To begin, take the fraction cards and put them in one pile. Spread out the denominator cards face-up on the desk. Players take turns picking a card from the fraction pile and a card from the denominators. The player then tries to name an equivalent fraction using the denominator card. For example, if the student picks a 1/2 fraction card and a 4 denominator card, he or she would have to figure out a fraction equivalent to 1/2 that has a denominator of 4 (answer: 2/4). If an equivalent fraction cannot be made with the cards picked, those cards are put in a discard pile. The game continues until all of the denominator cards have been selected. To extend the challenge, you or your students can create additional fraction and denominator cards using numbers of your choosing.

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