How to Use Fraction Squares

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Fraction squares are math manipulatives. Math manipulatives are objects that students can handle and manipulate in order to gain a better understanding of a mathematical concept. Some students are stumped by fractions. However, if you offer them hands-on activities that illustrate what various fractions look like, they will be more likely to come to an understanding of the subject. Using fraction squares is an effective way of introducing or reviewing the concept of fraction.

  • Distribute various types of fraction squares to small groups of students. Common fraction squares include halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, eighths, tenths and twelfths.

  • Show your students how various fractions are equal. For example, you could place one part of a one-half fraction square on the board (or draw it). Then have a student select parts of another fraction square set to illustrate the equivalent. Possibilities include 2/4, 3/6, 4/8, 5/10 and 6/12.

  • Give your students other fractions to which they must match equivalent fraction squares. Discuss your results once everyone has finished the practice work.

  • Offer a creative assignment by telling your students that they must create a picture using specific portions of fraction squares. For instance, you might say that they must use 1/4, 3/8 and 5/10 to create a design or picture. This helps with further fraction identification.

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