Teaching Fractions in 3rd Grade

The topic chosen is Fractions, built with a 3rd grade class in mind.

Text Annotations

Full House: An Invitation to Fractions

Dayle Ann Dodds (Author), Abby Carter (Illustrator)

A fun introduction to fractions, good for reading to younger students, with lots of repetition so students can join in with the text.  A story about a woman running an inn, which teaches about fractions in how she divides the rooms and desert for her guests.

Polar bear math : learning about fractions from Klondike and Snow by Ann Whitehead and Cindy Bickel.

Polar Bear Math follows two cubs, Klondike and Snow, who grow up in the Denver Zoo, all the while using their lives as material for lessons about fractions. For every page of story about the bear cubs there is a page containing a math lesson.  The lessons, vary from simple fraction, numerators and denominators, and comparing births. A lot of the lessons deal with the polar bear's growth rates, and mixing their formula with milk.

Apple fractions by Jerry Pallotta ; illustrated by Rob Bolster.

Apple fractions is a book that takes the time honored tradition of teaching with fractions and uses something as healthy as an apple instead of m&ms or jolly ranchers.  In the book, a group of elves show the readers how to divide apples into halves, thirds, fourths, etc.  At the same time, it teaches about different types of apples (golden delicious, granny smith, and so on).  The book is better served as an introduction to fractions than anything, as it will be too simple for higher level fraction users.

Funny & fabulous fraction stories : 30 reproducible math tales and problems to reinforce important fraction skills by Dan Greenberg.

Funny and Fabulous Fraction Stories is a great book for, as the subtitle says, reinforcing fraction skills.  Each page has a humorous introduction followed by either word problems or simple equations. Much of the book is a built as a workbook, but the contents can be used for students working with fractions for the first time as well as older students who need review and enrichment.

Hershey’s milk chocolate bar fractions book by Jerry Pallotta ; illustrated by Robert Bolster.

A good book for not only introducing fractions, but also for dealing with addition and subtraction.  It is good for beginners, but can also be easily adapted for use with older children by including mixed numbers, writing fractions in
simplest form, and even decimals/percentages.  And in case chocolate bars are too much candy or are melting, the book includes a cutout for manipulation.


Concentration – A game of memory, for one or two players, where you have to match different depictions of numbers.  There are different levels to choose from, one of which is fractions.  Match numbers, shapes, fractions, or multiplication facts to equivalent representations. The game can be used to practice facts by using the clear pane mode, or for an added challenge, play the game with the windows closed.

Melvin's Make a Match – A game of matching visual fraction models with their numerical counterparts.  The player chooses two potion bottles and Melvin the wizard lets them know if they got it right or not.   There is a hint button that guides students how to play, instead of giving them clues about the right answer.

Pizza Party – A 10 question, single player online multiple choice game that uses the classic "pizza pie" model for visualizing fractions.  Even though it is likely that this model is not the best for representing fractions, it is still ubiquitously used in the class as well as SOL tests.  So this game is a good review for visualizing fractions that

FunBrain.com's Soccer Shootout – A two player, competitive fraction quiz based on taking "shots on goal" by solving fraction addition and subtraction problems with like and unlike numerators and denominators.  The answers given need to be reduced to the simplest possible fraction or the answer is marked as incorrect.

Additional Resources

Fraction Webquest –  Created by Kim Daniels, Julia Johnson, and Caitlin Haney

A webquest that invites students to act as mayor of a small town, helping the citizens solve their problems using fractions.  There are 4 specific tasks in the webquest, which would be best done over two or three days.

Fractions – SMARTboard Activity by N. Dickson.  A 12 page SMART Notebook Lesson that contains various types of fraction practice for beginning learners of fractions (grades 1-3).   Requires SMARTboard and corresponding software.

Equivalent Fractions Video – a short (3:41) video lesson discussing equivalent fractions.  Requires Audio.  A great resource for review, or makeup (for instance if a student is absent when equivalent fractions are introduced).

Fractions PowerPoint – by Lucy Rodriguez – A 13 page powerpoint lesson that explains fractions using various models (including fraction strips, number lines, etc.  Also contains links to different activities.  Note – There are, among other things, two fraction powerpoints on the link below.  Choose the one by Rodriguez.

Fractions Basics Proper Improper Mixed Math Learning Upgrade

A cute, short (1:35) video that goes with an equally cute reggae song about fractions, which teaches about numerators, denominators, and the difference between Proper and Improper Fractions.

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