Teaching 3rd grade Math: Fractions

The following resources can help in teaching fractions to elementary students. The books and the other resources are a good way to help make learning math fun.

Give Me Half
written by Stuart Murphy
illustrated by G. Brian Karas

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Splitting things in half may seem like an easy thing to do, but when two siblings and a pizza are involved, things can get messy. Children learn about fractions at school but fractions are also an important part of everyday life outside the classroom.

Fraction Action
written and illustrated by Loreen Leedy

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This picture book presents math concepts through five brief chapters. Leedy makes it easy for children to visualize what is meant by the various amounts. Subjects tackled include basic fractions, sets, dividing objects into equal parts and subtracting and comparing the value of fractions. With mini math problems and answers and large doses of humor worked into the text, this classroom-oriented book adds up to a lot of instructional fun.

Fraction Fun
written by David Adler
illustrated by Nancy Tobin

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This simple, hands-on concept book is clear and concise. The simple definition of a fraction, that it is a part of something, introduces a pizza pie that is divided, studied, compared, and, of course, eaten. Weighing coins determines how many make one ounce, and what the fractional value of each coin is. The cartoon illustrations are colorful, whimsical, and humorous; they also make the concepts clear.

Polar Bear Math
written by Ann Whitehead Nagda and Cindy Bickel

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In this book children learn about fractions while following the Denver Zoo’s baby polar bears, Klondike and Snow. The right-hand pages tell the story of Snow and Klondike, with full-color photos showing how zoo personnel raised them from newborns until their first birthday. On each left-hand page, a lesson on fractions incorporates data about the animals. The explanations, which combine text with pictographs, are clear and well formulated. The first lesson, for example, defines fractions and their parts, and compares the one-third of polar bear mothers that have twins with the two-thirds that have single births. Other lessons deal with preparing formula for the cubs, milk consumption, hours in a day, and polar bear weight.

The Doorbell Rang
written and illustrated by Pat Hutchins

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As Victoria and Sam are sitting down to a plateful of a dozen of Ma’s cookies the doorbell rings, and two of their friends arrive to share. Just as they have the cookies all divided, the doorbell rings again and again and each time the number of cookies per person dwindles until at last there is only one cookie per person and . . . the doorbell rings again! (Luckily, it’s Grandma arriving with reinforcements.)

Web Sites for Kids on Fractions

  • Fishy Fractions – Just hit “start activity” to begin helping Ulani the hungry pelican. Help her catch some fish by selecting the correct answer and watch her swoop into the water to eat the fish. You have to be careful to make sure Ulani doesn’t fly into one of the obstacles or you will lose points.
  • Bug Splat – In this game you must add the fractions together, if you get the incorrect answer the bugs will splat on the windshield.
  • Who Wants Pizza? – This site is a good place to go to refresh your memory on fractions or to learn about them for the first time. After an idea is taught there are a few questions to test your knowledge.
  • Cool Math 4 Kids – Here you can find 17 different lessons on fractions. Each lesson is full of bright colors and fun ways to learn. Cool Math for kids has pages for all of your math subjects. Don’t forget to move your mouse around and watch the numbers dance.
  • Math is Fun – Here is a good way to compare unit fractions. You will have a choice to use <=> to finish the problem.

Additional Resources

Teachers’ Domain
Teachers' Domain is an online library of more than 1,000 free media resources from the best in public television. These classroom resources, featuring media from NOVA, Frontline, Design Squad, American Experience, and other public broadcasting and content partners are easy to use and correlate to state and national standards. Resources include video and audio segments, Flash interactives, images, documents, lesson plans for teachers, and student-oriented activities. Once you register for free, you can personalize the site using "My Folders" and "My Groups" to save your favorite resources into a folder and share them with your colleagues or students.

Math Forum: Elementary School Teachers’ Place

The Math Forum is an online community of teachers, researchers, parents, educators, and citizens at all levels who have an interest in mathematics and math education. The Math Forum provides high quality content and useful features. You will find lesson plans, fun sites for kids, activities and projects, teacher to teacher ideas on how to teach mathematics, and so much more.

Super Teacher Worksheets

FREE Math Worksheets, Grammar Worksheets, Word Problems, Creative Writing Prompts, Holiday Word Search Puzzles, and More! This site has it all. There is also a link to other teacher resources that are wonderful too.