Math

Understanding Fractions On A Number Line

Helping students develop an understanding of fractions on a number line, is not an easy task. That’s exactly why I like to infuse some hands-on activities + fraction fun into our lessons 😁

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

According to the Common Core Standards, 3rd graders must “develop an understanding of fractions as numbers.” They must also understand a fraction as a number on a number line, and be able to represent fractions on a number line diagram.

Students that do not develop a solid foundation on fractions will struggle with measurement. Especially, when measuring to the nearest inch or quarter-inch with a ruler.


Before introducing kids to fractions on a number line, I like to expose them to fraction bars. This helps them transition to fractions on a number line + allows them to “see” and understand that fractions are part of a whole.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

A fraction is NOT simply one number written “on top” of another!

So let’s get started with 4 kid-friendly activities that are sure to help your kiddos understand fractions on a number line.

Fractions on a Number Line: Using Snap Cubes

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Materials:

  • snap cubes- 20 total in 2 different colors
  • paper
  • pencil

Activity:

Model a fraction.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Next, represent the model on a number line by adding tick marks after each cube.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Then starting at zero, have them count the number of “parts” in the whole 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. There are 8 parts to the whole. In other words, the stick of cubes is broken into eighths. {Remind students that the denominator represents the number of parts that make up the whole.} Practice counting the cubes 1/8, 2/8, 3/8, 4/8, 5/8, 6/8, 7/8, 8/8.

Now count the number of green cubes 1, 2, 3, 4. There are 4 green cubes. Emphasize that you are counting the number of “parts” and NOT the ticks.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Finally, have them label the point on the line that represents the fraction of the bar that is green. This is also a great opportunity to point out that 4/8 really means {4 out of 8 cubes are green.}

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Using Graph Paper

Materials:

Activity:

Give students a fraction such as 2/4. Ask them how many parts make up the whole. {If they don’t know, give them snap cubes and have them make a model.}

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Then draw a line that extends the length of 4 squares. {The denominator shows the number of parts in a whole.} Label the beginning 0 and the end 1 for 1 whole.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Next, add tick marks along the number line and label with the fractions 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 = 1 whole.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Finally, shade in 2 out of 4 squares or the number of parts demonstrated by the numerator.

Using Pipe Cleaners + Beads

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Materials:

  • Pony beads or similar beads (at least 2 colors)
  • pipe cleaner
  • paper
  • pencil

Activity:

Give students a sheet of paper, pipe cleaner and some beads. Have them draw a number line with 0 and 1 marking the beginning and end points. Next, grab 2 colored beads to represent those points.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Use some beads to divide the pipe cleaner into 5 parts. Give your kiddos some time to explore + even struggle! The goal is for them to realize that the number of beads and the number of parts are NOT the same.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

As a matter of fact, you will need 4 beads to partition {or divide} the pipe cleaner into 5 parts. Remember, you are counting the number of parts the line is divided into, NOT the number of ticks (beads).

Understanding fractions on a number line is all about recognizing the importance of the parts on the line and NOT the tick marks!

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Next, draw tick marks on the number line.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Label the number line… Discuss that the denominator represents the number of parts in the whole {The pipe cleaner is divided into 5 parts or fifths.} Label each “part” with a fraction of the whole… 1/5, 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, and 5/5 = 1 whole.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Fractions on a Number Line: Using Markers

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Materials:

Activity:

You can use any fractions on a number line worksheet for this activity. Just remember to add a point somewhere on the line.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Next, color in each part of the line by alternating colors. This makes it easier to identify the number of parts. Label the beginning 0 and the end 1.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Count the number of parts in the whole…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. There are 6 parts in the whole. The first part is 1 out of 6, label it 1/6. Continue labeling the fractions on the number line.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

Finally, review that the point on the number line actually represents the number of parts starting from 0 all the way to the point. Because that distance consists of 4 parts, it represents 4/6 of the line.

Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities

I hope this post has given you a few ideas to make learning about fractions on a number line fun! In case you’re wondering which standards are covered in these activities, here you go:

3.NF.1. Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b

3.NF.2 Understand a fraction as a number on a number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram


I’d love to hear YOUR tips and tricks! Please share them with me via email at moretime2teach@gmail.com or tag me on social media with #moretime2teach

Love,

Mel signature with a teal clock in front

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Teaching kids about fractions on a number line can be tricky. Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities
Read about 4 hands on fraction activities for kids that will make learning about fractions on a number line fun! They’re easy to setup, a great visual to help teach fractions, and involve using cubes, pipe cleaners, beads, and markers. #Teachingfractions #Handsonfractions #Fractionactivities
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