Teaching Fractions: Second Grade

I have chosen Fractions for my Instructional Resource Set. The following books, websites, activities, and resources can all be used to help children better understand the concept of Fractions in the Second Grade.  The resources I’m listing below could be used with other grades, but my focus was based on the VA SOL 2.3 (identifying parts of a set/whole, writing fractions, and comparing the unit of fractions).

Text Annotations

Apple Fractions by Jerry Pallotta and Illustrated by Rob Bolster

Jerry Pallotta introduces fractions using descriptions of a variety of apples. This book focuses on part of a whole, and is an interesting way to look at how to cut up apples and relate it to fractions. Throughout the book these little elves dressed as people help slice up and explain the fraction process. The pictures are fantastic because it is a fun and interesting way for children to see fractions. The little elves work hard to show the readers how fractions can be viewed, and they also include the written out word (for example, one-half) as well as the number form (for example, 1/2). This will help students be able to see how fractions can be written.

The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Fractions Book by Jerry Pallotta and Illustrated by Rob Bolster

What child doesn’t love chocolate? This book introduces fractions using Hershey’s Chocolate bars. This book is also written by Jerry Pallotta, and the book is written and set up almost exactly like Apple Fractions. He uses little painters as the fraction helpers throughout this book. There is also a written form and number form of each fraction. This really is important, because students can see the different ways fractions can be written. The book starts with one whole (1/1) chocolate bar, then the painters unwrap the Hershey bar count the individual pieces of the Hershey bar (12/12), and explain how that is the same as one whole (1/1). The painters then work together by breaking the bar into different fractions.

Polar Bear Math by Ann Whitehead Nagda and Cindy Bickel

At the Denver Zoo two baby polar bears were raised by the staff. This book is interesting because you can read it as a story (reading the right-hand pages), or read it as a math lesson (reading the left-hand pages) and also including the story as well. For this project, we are using the book for the story and to see how fractions were used while raising the bears. The book uses charts and recipes for bear milk to teach about fractions. While reading this story, using fraction strips with your students could allow for an interactive story telling.

Piece = Part = Portion by Scott Gifford Photographs by Shmuel Thaler

Scott Gifford describes fractions, decimals, and percents as a different way to describe the same thing- a piece, part, or portion of a larger whole. For this project, it is important to focus just on the fraction (piece) part of this book. You could later use the same book to introduce the other aspects of this book.  There are great visuals throughout this book. The pictures that explain the fraction are objects that students will be familiar with (for example, one shoe is 1/2 of a pair, one egg is 1/12 of a dozen eggs, and 1 piece of gum is 1/5 of a pack of gum). This is a great book to introduce parts of a whole.

Fraction Action by Loreen Leedy

In this book you will find a hippo (Mrs. Prime) who introduces fractions to her classroom of animal students.  Mrs. Prime gives her class real life examples of fractions using art, food, and other common objects. For example, cutting a tuna sandwich in HALF, and a lemonade sale that is one fourth off! This is a great book for children to see real life situations where fractions are needed.

Web Annotations
Designer Fractions (once you are on the site, click on the Designer Fractions link) Here you will find a interactive activity for students to futher explore fractions. They are in charge and get to decide which answer is correct, and even design their very own fractional figure on a triangle grid. This activity works great with a smartboard!

Who Wants Pizza? Again, the students are in charge here. This website has interactive activity pages, getting more complicated as you go on. The students start with a basic introduction of fractions, and have the chance to quiz themselves and move onto the next activity, depending on how they did on the current activity.

Make a Match Help Melvin the wizard put his bottles of potion back in order by correctly matching the equivalent fractions on the bottles. One bottle has a picture representation of a fraction, and the other bottle has the written fraction.

The Fractionator A video that allows your students to discover how fractions work by watching the Fractionator’s apprentice divide a banana with his laser finger. Determine the number of cuts necessary to divide an object into thirds, fourths and fifths. Since it is a video you can make it interactive by making a long strips of yellow paper to represent a banana for each student in your classroom, and have your students make the cuts along with the Fractionator’s apprentice.

Fraction Fun An interactive website on which students can practice parts of a whole. The students are given a pie and the student has to try and come up with the correct fraction. Try and get 10 right!

Additional Resources
Fraction Shapes: A Patter Block Activity Here you will find different activities that causes students to think. The activities connect fractions, art, writing, and technology.

Fun with Fractions: Unit Plan This unit consists of five lessons designed to help the students understand fractions when they are represented as a part of a region.

To Half or Half Not A lesson plan that uses slices of bread and geoboards as manipulatives, students explore several ways to divide a rectangle in half. Students engage in an activity where they try to outsmart an alien from the planet of Fractional who is coming to their class to take one-half of their candy.

Farming and Gardening: A Vegetable Garden  A lesson plan that Explores fractions as parts of a set to plan a vegetable garden. Decide how many plots in a grid need to be assigned to each vegetable.


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