Confession. Math was my worst subject in school. Calculus? I honestly don’t know how I survived college-level calc with Dr. K.
Looking back now, I had some not-so-great math teachers. I don’t want to be that teacher. I mean, who aims for “not so great”? I know that my struggles with math as a student, now make me a better math teacher. I want to be the teacher that I wish I had when I was young. Now, I LOVE math and LOVE teaching math. I want my students to LOVE math too. That’s a lot of love. To become the math teacher I wish I had, I seek and create ways to make math meaningful, hands-on, and fun!
When it came time to start multiplying fractions with my 5th graders, I remembered how difficult it was to use area models with my 5th graders the year before. It was so difficult because our district-provided math text has students creating fraction models in tiny boxes and then shading them in. Ironically, the lesson is titled “Hands-On Multiply Fractions”. Drawing models is not hands-on enough for me and especially for my students.
I had an idea to use clear fraction models that they could overlap to see the area models multiply. I immediately thought of overhead transparency film and that YES I could print models on this! I created fraction models, printed them, cut them out, and voila! Perfect.
I allowed my students a chance to play with the models first.
Next, I modeled how to multiply fractions using the area model using this terrific online interactive, http://www.geogebra.org/m/40578. I also modeled how to use the fraction transparency models using my document camera.
I let my students “play” with the models on their individual whiteboards. They created and solved their own problems. They LOVED this activity.
I created area model problem pages for students to use the models to create and solve the problem and then draw the models and the product.
I’ve created a freebie of the fraction models just for you! Click on the image below to download the fraction models!
This freebie is just one page of my 30-page resource Multiply Fractions with Area Models that is available in my TeachersPayTeachers store! This resource includes a set of expressions and product models for students to sort – great in workstations for extra practice.
Use task cards with the fraction models for students to practice multiplying fractions with the area models. This also helps students practice drawing the area models.
This resource also includes expression cards to match with the product model for even more practice.
And there is now a DIGITAL version in Google Slides. This resource contains 20 problems with moveable fraction models to manipulate on Google Slides and students then type in their answers.
The digital version also includes a 10 question self-grading Google Form assessment to check for student understanding.
You can find my resources in my TPT store using the links below.
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