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**WHAT IS A FRIENDLY NUMBER?**

In this case, we refer to friendly numbers as a number that is easy to work with. For example, multiples of 10 are “friendly” because they are easy to work with when we add or subtract.

**USING FRIENDLY NUMBERS AS AN ADDITION STRATEGY**

When we use the “friendly number” strategy for addition, it helps us work with big numbers. This is because we are essentially breaking the equation up into more manageable parts.

We begin by getting to a friendly number, which is typically a multiple of 10, 100, or 100 – depending on the numbers that we are working with. Then we add on the remainder.

Let’s take a look at the “using friendly numbers” addition strategy in action.

**EXAMPLES**

In this example we will add 27+9 using the friendly number strategy.

First, let’s put the number 27 on our empty number line.

Now let’s get to a friendly number. We know that the number 30 is “friendly” or easy to work with, so we can add 3 to get to 30.

Lastly, we add the remaining 6 and get our answer of 36.

Suppose we are solving 265+18.

First we will write 265 on our empty number line.

Then we can add 5 from the 18 to get to a friendly number 270.

We have 13 left, so now we can simply add the 13 to the 270 to get a final answer of 283.

**BIG IDEAS**

Mental Math is not about following a one size fits all process. Mental Math involves having many “tools” available and being able to effectively choose and use a tool to solve an equation. The important thing to remember is that we don’t want to force our students into using a tool that doesn’t work for them. This is why it’s so important to introduce a variety of different strategies, teach them in isolation to allow mastery, and then allow students to begin choosing the tool that works best for them individually.

For the equations shown above, this friendly number strategy worked well. But students also could have used left to right addition, breaking up the second number, compensation, or even the plus 7,8,9 strategy.

Our goal is to teach our students to think flexibly about numbers so that mental computation comes easily to them.

**NEXT STEPS:**

Download a free activity to practice the using friendly numbers addition strategy HERE.

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]]>The post Compensation: An Addition Strategy appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>Compensation is a mental math strategy for multi-digit addition that involves adjusting one of the addends to make the equation easier to solve. Some students may prefer this strategy as an alternative to left-to-right addition or the breaking up the second number strategy.

Compensation is a useful strategy for making equations easier to solve. More importantly, it encourages students to think flexibly about numbers.

**HOW TO PERFORM THE COMPENSATION STRATEGY**

Let’s solve the equation 34+49 using the compensation strategy.

First, since 49 is so close to 50, we will add 34+50. This is easier to solve. Then, since we added one extra to the original equation, we have to subtract one from the final answer.

Let’s suppose that we want to solve the equation 132+64. We can use compensation to add these two numbers. With compensation, there is no one right way to perform the strategy. In this case, let’s begin by taking 4 away from the 64 and add 132+60 to make 192. This is an easy equation to solve. Now, since we subtracted 4 from the original equation, we have to add 4 to the answer. 192+4=196.

**NEXT STEPS:**

- If you would like full support for teaching addition strategies in your classroom, check out The Addition Station HERE. These Math Stations are self-paced, student-centered stations for the basic math strategies. Students move through the levels at their own pace, ensuring that they are always challenged, and working to their full potential.

- Read other posts on this website about addition strategies HERE.

- Download a FREE activity for practicing the compensation strategy HERE.

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]]>The post Breaking Up the Second Number: An Addition Strategy appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>Breaking up the second number is a mental math strategy for addition. Some students may find this method more efficient than left-to-right addition.

This strategy involves breaking up the second number in an equation into more manageable parts. Like many other mental math strategies, this strategy encourages students to think flexibly and to manipulate numbers in different ways. This is the big goal of mental math!

As you look at the examples given, you’ll notice that this strategy reinforces place value understanding, as students are breaking the second number into its expanded form.

**EXAMPLES**

Let’s take a look at how to perform this strategy. Whenever you introduce a new strategy in your classroom, be sure to use small, easy to work with numbers. This will ensure that students can focus on the strategy itself rather than struggling with big numbers while trying to master a new strategy.

In this example, we will add 14+12. We will break the 12 into a 10 and a 2.

Now we add. First we add 14+10 to make 24, and then add the remaining 2 to make 26.

Let’s try another example. Here we will solve 35+46. First we break the 46 into a 40 and a 6.

We will add 35+40 to make 75, and then add the remaining 6 to make 81.

Breaking up the second number can be used with more digits as well. Let’s try a 3-digit plus 3-digit equation. Here we will add 124+345. We can first break up the 345 into a 300, a 40, and a 5.

Now we begin by adding 124+300 to make 424. Then we will add the 40 to make 464. Lastly we will add the remaining 5 to make 469.

**FLEXIBLE THINKING**

One of the greatest aspects of mental math is that there is not a series of steps to memorize. Really we just want our students to understand what the numbers mean and be able to manipulate them in a way that works for each individual student.

Suppose we have the equation 213+214.

One student might choose to break up the second number and add 213+200+10+4.

Another student might choose to break up the second number into only two parts and add 200+210+4.

A third student might choose to add these numbers using left to right addition.

**There is no ONE right way. When students know the values of the digits, and understand what the numbers mean, we open up the options for how an equation can be solved. **

This is one strategy that you definitely will want to incorporate into your math instruction. It can be used in many different ways and you will notice that your students begin using this sort of thinking for other math concepts as well.

**NEXT STEPS:**

- If you would like full support for teaching addition strategies in your classroom, check out
**The Addition Station HERE.**You’ll find this strategy in the Addition Stations for the upper grades. These Math Stations are self-paced, student-centered stations for the basic math strategies. Students move through the levels at their own pace, ensuring that they are always challenged, and working to their full potential.

- Read other posts on this website about addition strategies
**HERE.**

- Download a FREE activity for practicing the breaking up the second number strategy
**HERE.**

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]]>The post Left to Right Addition: An Addition Strategy appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>Left-to-right addition (also known as front-end addition or the partial sums method) is one of the most powerful mental math strategies for teaching addition of 2 or 3-digit numbers. However, many people are confused by why it is important and why it can be more effective than traditional vertical addition.

**WHY IS IT SO EFFECTIVE?**

The best part about left to right addition is that this strategy promotes real understanding.

When you solve an equation using the standard algorithm (probably the way that you learned to add multi-digit numbers), you use a series of steps. This includes adding the ones first, carrying if needed, then adding the tens, carrying if needed, etc. These steps are committed to your memory, and for those who have excellent memorization skills, this can be effective.

HOWEVER, the standard algorithm **does not encourage understanding of place value and number sense. **This is the main reason that today’s math instruction tends to shy away from the traditional algorithm. We want our students to possess REAL understanding of what they are doing. When students are taught methods that encourage mental math, they are able to think more flexibly not only about this isolated concept, but about other math concepts as well.

Let’s take a look at some examples of left-to-right addition in action.

In this example we are adding 25+34. First, we add the tens: 20+30, to make 50. Then we add the ones: 5+4, to make 9. Lastly, we add 50+9 to make 59. Although this may look confusing to have it written out as it is, this process happens very quickly once a student understands the process – typically an equation like this will be solved in a couple of seconds at the most.

Left to right addition is also effective for adding 3-digit plus 3-digit numbers. In this example, we can see that we add the hundreds first, then the tens, and then the ones. Lastly, we add all of those sums together.

When students perform addition this way, they develop a good understanding of place value and what it really means. For example, in the equation shown above, students see the “1” in 147 as a 100, and not just a 1. The “4” in 147 is understood as a 40, and not just a 4. This is essential knowledge if we want our students to become efficient mathematicians.

**NEXT STEPS:**

- If you would like full support for teaching addition strategies in your classroom, check out
**The Addition Station HERE.**You’ll find the left to right addition strategy in the Addition Stations for the upper grades. These Math Stations are self-paced, student-centered stations for the basic math strategies. Students move through the levels at their own pace, ensuring that they are always challenged, and working to their full potential. - Read other posts on this website about addition strategies
**HERE.** - Download a FREE activity for practicing the left to right addition strategy
**HERE.**

- Check out a “Front End Addition Mental Math Strategy Unit”
**HERE.**

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]]>The post Plus 7, 8, and 9: An Addition Strategy appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>**ADDING 10 AND THEN TAKING 1, 2, OR 3 AWAY**

**MAKING A 10**

Let’s discuss both of these concepts.

**ADDING 10 AND THEN TAKING AWAY**

This is a strategy that you will focus on in younger grades, particularly first and second grade. It can still be reinforced in older grades as well. When our students are faced with an equation like 4+9=___, we encourage them to first think, “4+10=14 and then we can take one away to make 13.”

We focus on adding 10 first because adding 10 is easy.

Similarly, to add 8 to a number, we can add 10 first and then take away 2, since 8 is 2 less than 10. So for the equation 7+8=___, we can think, “7+10=17, and then we can take two away to make 15.”

**MAKING A 10**

When students get a bit older (3rd and 4th grades), we can extend this knowledge. Now we tend to focus even more on flexible thinking – the big goal of mental math.

Now, when our students are faced with an equation such as 4+9=___, we can encourage them to think, “I can take 1 away from the 4 and give it to the 9 to make 10, and then add the remaining 3 to make 13.”

To add 8+7, we can think, “I will take 2 from the 7 and give it to the 8 to make a 10, and then add the remaining 5 to make 15.”

This concept can be extended to bigger numbers as well – numbers that end in 7, 8, or 9. For example, to add 27+5, take 3 away from the 5 and give it to the 27 to make 30, and then add the remaining 2 to make 32.”

**MORE THAN JUST AN ISOLATED STRATEGY**

One of the main conflicting opinions with strategies like this is that they are impractical and take too long. However, we must remember that the goal of mental math is more than simply solving an equation. The **big goal** is being able to think **flexibly** about numbers.

When our students learn strategies like this one, they are learning that numbers can be manipulated. We can give some, and take away some in order to come up with our final answer. You will find that once students get comfortable with this strategy, they begin using similar ideas in other circumstances. **Flexible mathematical thinking** is a big goal.

**WAYS TO REINFORCE THESE CONCEPTS**

When we introduce these concepts to our students, it is important that we begin as visually as possible, so that students understand what they are doing before having to do it all in their heads. Hands-on manipulatives are an important part of the introduction process.

Base 10 blocks are a great way to make this strategy hands-on for your students. Students can physically give blocks to the other number.

For example, to solve 26+8, have your students make each number with base 10 blocks.

Then we can give 2 blocks from the 26 to the 8 to make a 10.

Now we can add 24+10 to make 34.

**NEXT STEPS:**

- If you would like full support for teaching addition strategies in your classroom, check out
**The Addition Station HERE.** - Read other posts on this website about addition strategies
**HERE.** - Download a FREE activity for practicing the plus 7, 8, and 9 strategy
**HERE.**

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]]>The post Extending The Doubles and Near Doubles Facts: An Addition Strategy appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>The doubles facts are generally an introductory set of facts that we want our students to memorize. We can relate the doubles to so many things around us – fingers and toes: 5+5, wheels on a car : 2+2, or the eggs in a carton: 6+6.

Our goal for the doubles facts is automaticity. This means that students no longer have to think much about the equation in order to solve it. Rather, they just “know” the answer and are able to say the answer within 1-3 seconds. For example, when a student sees the equation 8+8, he should know that it equals 16 without even stopping to think about it.

Building a strong foundation of doubles will help students with other mental math strategies, particularly the near doubles.

Near doubles involve facts like 4+5. To solve this fact before memorization has taken place, we want our students to think, “I know that 4+4=8, and 1 more is 9.”

Teaching the doubles and near doubles facts is important, but it shouldn’t stop simply with the numbers to 12. We need to extend these facts into tens and hundreds as well, and teach our students how we can still use the doubles and near doubles facts in order to solve equations with these bigger numbers.

For example we can use the fact 3+3 to solve 30+30 or the fact 6+6 to solve 60+60=___.

**FOCUS ON GROUPS OF 10**

To begin teaching students to extend the doubles and near doubles facts, focus on groups of 10. For example, we can think of 40+40 as *4 groups of 10 plus 4 groups of 10*. Similarly, to solve 400+400 we can think, *“4 groups of 100 plus 4 groups of 100.”*

**EXTENDING THIS CONCEPT TO OTHER MATH STRATEGIES**

This “extending” concept can be used in many other circumstances. For example, when teaching your students the plus 1 facts, teach them to extend that knowledge past simple 1-digit numbers. For example, if we know 8+1, then we can easily figure out 80+10 or 800+100.

**NEXT STEPS:**

- If you would like full support for teaching addition strategies in your classroom, check out
**The Addition Station**HERE. - Download a FREE activity sheet for practicing the
**extending the doubles facts**strategy HERE.

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]]>The post Counting On: An Addition Strategy appeared first on Shelley Gray.

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Counting On is a beginning mental math strategy for addition. It is generally taught as an introductory mental math strategy and is usually very easy for students to grasp. The chances are good that some or many of your students are already using this strategy without knowing it.

Counting on means that you start with the biggest number in an equation, and then count up from there. For example, to add 5+3, you want students to start with the “5” in their heads, and then count up, “6, 7, 8.” This is to discourage students from counting like this: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…..6, 7, 8.”

It is also important to reinforce the commutative property of addition when teaching this strategy. For example, even if students are adding “2+6,” they still should start with the bigger number. In this case we would start with “6” and count up “7, 8.”

The counting on strategy should only be used for adding 1, 2, 3, or 4 to a larger number. If students try to count on with numbers higher than 4, it gets too confusing, and mistakes happen. For example, if a student tried to count on to add 15+12, he would say, “15,” and then count on: “16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27.” This is a very ineffective way to add and should not be encouraged.

Once students learn other, more advanced, addition strategies, counting on will slowly be phased out of your students “addition toolbox.” But it IS an effective beginning addition strategy for young students.

**WAYS TO REINFORCE COUNTING ON**

Here are some ideas for how you can reinforce the counting on strategy in your classroom. I have also included a free download to practice this concept at the end of this post.

DICE OR DOT PATTERNS

When first beginning to teach counting on, dot patterns can be an effective tool. Encourage your students to say the big number and then count on from there using the dots. For example, for the first example shown below, your students should say, “19,” and then count on: “20, 21.”

TEN FRAMES

To use a 10 frame, students can represent the equation with two different symbols or colors.

NUMBER LINES

Number lines are a fantastic tool for so many math concepts, so getting students started using them for beginning addition is a great idea. Encourage students to write the highest number and then use “jumps” to count on the smaller number. For the equation shown below – 27+2, students would first write the 27 and then make two jumps to make a sum of 29.

**NEXT STEPS:**

- If you would like full support for teaching addition strategies in your classroom, check out
**The Addition Station**HERE. - Download a FREE activity sheet for practicing the counting on strategy HERE.

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]]>The post Four Ways to Represent Multiplication appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>When it comes to teaching multiplication, it can be tricky to know how to approach it in your classroom. Often we teach multiplication using the “groups of” idea and leave it at that. But it is important to teach multiplication using different approaches and strategies, so that students understand it in **many different ways**.

Here are four ways to teach multiplication in your classroom. Make sure that these are all included in your instruction so that your students are able to visualize multiplication in different ways while they learn what it really means. Once students REALLY understand multiplication, you’ll be able to move away from these approaches and focus more on multiplication fact mastery.

**ARRAYS**

An array is a group of objects that is arranged into rows and columns. This group of objects can be used to represent a multiplication equation by multiplying the number of rows by the number of columns. For example, the array below shows 6 rows and 7 columns. This represents the multiplication equation 6×7 or 7×6. Altogether there are 42 objects in this array.

Be sure to ask students to identify the equation represented by an array, as well as draw arrays to represent an equation.

**SKIP COUNTING**

Skip-counting is generally an introductory activity for multiplication. Students can use a number line, or a simple skip-counting sequence to figure out the product of an equation. For example, to figure out the product of 5 and 4, we can skip-count 4 groups of 5 – 5, 10, 15, 20 or 5 groups of 4 – 4, 8, 12, 16, 20.

**REPEATED ADDITION**

When we teach multiplication, we want our students to understand that it can be used as a shortcut to addition. For example, to figure out the problem below, we could add 8+8+8+8+8 to make 40 and get the correct answer for this problem. However, it is much faster to multiply 5×8 to make 40 instead.

We can ask our students to look at a repeated addition equation and identify the multiplication equation that is represented.

**PICTURE REPRESENTATIONS/EQUAL GROUPS**

Equal groups are a great way to introduce multiplication. The idea of “groups of” can be understood more when introduced with a picture. This task card shows the equation 6×8 represented in an “equal groups” picture. Be sure to have your students draw picture representations that make sense to them, as well as identify the equation represented by a picture.

**NEXT STEPS:**

- Create a multiplication anchor chart like the one shown here to post in your classroom:

- Register for a free Basic Multiplication Facts Video Workshop HERE.
- Read more about multiplication fact strategies HERE.
- Use Basic Multiplication Task Cards to reinforce each set of facts using the approaches shown in this post. Find the full package HERE or a free sample HERE.
- Implement basic multiplication into your daily practice to ensure that it is being continually reinforced. Find the full Basic Multiplication Equation of the Day package HERE or a free sample HERE.

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]]>The post Free Set of Multiplication Task Cards appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>It is so important that each set of multiplication facts is reinforced in a variety of ways, including problem-solving, finding missing unknowns, skip-counting, making groups, arrays, and picture representations. We want our students to REALLY understand each set of multiplication facts so that mastery becomes accessible.

This is why I recently created these Multiplication Task Card sets. With 24 task cards in each of the 17 sets, the basic multiplication facts are reinforced in a wide variety of ways. Each set of facts is isolated so that students are working with ONLY the facts that they are trying to master at any one time.

If you are currently using **The Multiplication Station **in your classroom, these task cards are a fantastic way to support your students! Make the task cards available at the end of each level for students to practice before their oral test, or as extra support for students who still need a bit of help mastering the facts after a level.

I’d love to give you a free set of task cards just so that you can make sure that you like them before you purchase the bundle. Sign up HERE and I’ll send you the Multiplication by Two Task Cards right to your inbox.

Want to tackle all of the basic multiplication facts in your classroom?

GET THE FULL MULTIPLICATION TASK CARDS BUNDLE HERE.

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]]>The post The Early Finisher Board: Teacher Inspiration appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>If you are currently using, or considering implementing The Early Finisher Board into your classroom, this page is going to inspire you! I am going to share tons of teacher pictures and feedback with you. You will see just how you can modify this resource to fit the exact needs (and space) inside your classroom. Even if you are using **The Math Choice Board** rather than The Early Finisher Board, these ideas will work for you!

**Near the end of this post, I’ll let you know how you can get started with a two-week sample of the Early Finisher Board for FREE!**

**Let’s get started!**

The original idea behind The Early Finisher Board was to use it with a tri-fold board that could be set up anywhere in the classroom. Personally I put a border around mine and used some colorful folders to make it pop!

Here are some other variations of the tri-fold board version that I have received from teachers over the years.

Bulletin boards are also a really popular alternative to the tri-fold board. Here are some great examples of bulletin boards using the Early Finisher materials provided.

Some teachers find that even bulletin board space is hard to come by, so they have to get really creative. The great thing about The Early Finisher Board is that is can be used in a wide variety of different ways and can be modified to suit your classroom! These next few examples have amazed me!

This teacher has set up her Early Finisher Board in file folders. I love how this takes up minimal space in the classroom, but still looks fantastic! See her Instagram post HERE.

These next examples are from teachers who had to get really creative with their Early Finisher Boards! They were able to use the exact same materials as you’ve seen in the other examples, but they used them to make portable versions of their Early Finisher Board.

These teachers used the sides of cabinets to create their Early Finisher Boards! Love this idea!

**NEXT STEPS:**

**Are you committed to solving the early finisher problem once and for all? Here’s how you can get started implementing this system in your classroom:**

**Start with a 2-week free sample HERE.**- Or, if you’re ready to go all-in with the full year system,
**browse the options HERE.**

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]]>The post How to Teach Fractions on a Number Line (with a free lesson plan) appeared first on Shelley Gray.

]]>**So how do we effectively teach this? We use a number line.**

A number line is an important tool that should be used frequently throughout your fractions unit.

Some advantages of using a number line to teach fractions include:

- Number lines help students see fractions as not only parts of a whole or parts or parts of a set, but as a part of distance or a part of time.
- Number lines help us compare fractions.
- Number lines help us find equivalent fractions.
- Number lines help us see a fraction as a number that comes between two whole numbers.
- Number lines are an effective alternative to traditional visual models that we use to teach fractions.

**How do we teach fractions on a number line?**

Below I have included a full lesson plan for teaching fractions on a number line. This is intended as an introductory lesson for this concept. I have also included a printable version of this lesson plan for you. Download it HERE.

**LESSON PLAN – INTRODUCING FRACTIONS ON A NUMBER LINE**

**Overview:**

In this lesson students will be introduced to the idea of fractions on a number line. This lesson only uses halves, thirds, and fourths as a starting point for this concept.

**Objective**:

- Students will see fractions as numbers on a number line.
- Students will represent fractions on a number line.
- Students will use a number line to solve basic problems involving fractions.

**Materials:**

- Fraction bars (one copy for each student) and Fractions on a Number Line activity sheets – Download HERE.
- Sticky notes (one for each student)
**Optional for Extension**Fractions on a Number Line Task Cards – Find them HERE.

**Activating Prior Knowledge** – Spend a few minutes reviewing what students already know (3 minutes).

By this time you have spent time teaching students about fractions as part of a whole or part of a set. Review this concept:

- Show students a rectangular piece of paper. Say, “We have worked with fractions as part of a whole. Here I have one whole piece of paper. If I cut this piece of paper in half, what does each piece represent?” Cut the paper in half. Students should identify that each piece represents one-half of the whole.
- Say, “What if I cut each piece in half again?” Cut each half in half again so that you have four pieces. Ask, “Now what fraction of the whole does each piece represent?” Students should identify that each piece represents one-fourth.

**Acquiring New Knowledge** – In this part of the lesson our students will acquire new knowledge. Let’s help them see the number line as a tool to use with fractions. (8 minutes)

- Say, “We know that we can divide any whole into parts. But what if we want to divide something into parts that we can’t touch? What about dividing one hour into parts? How could we represent one hour?” Let students come up with ways to represent one hour. Write their responses down on the whiteboard. Guide them towards using a horizontal line to represent one hour. You may have to ask, “What about a line? Could we use a line to represent one hour?”
- Write a large horizontal line on the whiteboard. Make one mark at the beginning and one mark at the end. Ask your students, “If this entire line represents one hour, what should I write beside these notches?” Guide students toward answering “0” for the line at the beginning and “1” for the line at the end.

- Say, “Suppose that we play soccer for the first half of the hour, and then we play baseball for the last half of the hour. How could we represent that on this line?” Help students see that we could divide the line in half as shown below.

- Ask, “If we wanted to write the fraction “one-half” on this number line, where would we write it?” Students should be able to identify that if we wanted to write one-half, we would write it at the middle point as shown below.

- Explain that each half of the number line represents one-half of the hour.
- Do another example using fourths of an hour. Have the students generate the ideas for how the hour could be divided into fourths.

**NEXT EXAMPLE** – Let’s try another example with distance rather than time.

- Say, “Let’s suppose that we want to divide one kilometer into parts. Could we use a number line to represent one kilometer?” Guide students toward the idea that we can use a similar number line, with 0 at one end and 1 at the other to represent one whole kilometer.

- “Let’s suppose that there is a girl named Lucy who is running one kilometer. So far she has run one-half of a kilometer. How could we show the distance that she has run on the number line?” Students should identify that we can divide the number line in half and show Lucy at the one-half point.

- “What if Lucy has run two-thirds of the kilometer? How could we show that?” Guide students toward the idea that we can divide the number line into three equal parts and show Lucy at the two-thirds point.

- As a class, do another example using fourths of a kilometer. Have the students generate the ideas for how the hour could be divided into fourths.

**Guided Practice** – In this part of the lesson students will work with fraction bars to enhance their understanding. (25 minutes)

- Give each student a set of fraction bars and the number line activity sheets.

- Work together to label the fraction pieces on the fraction bar sheet. Have students carefully cut out their fraction bars.
- Have students work with a partner to complete their activity sheets. As they work, circulate the room and ask questions to check for understanding. Your questions might start with:
- “How do you know that …”
- “What if…”
- “How can you tell if…”
- “What do these pieces represent?”

- Circulating the room as students work will also serve as your assessment of this lesson. This will help to drive your future instruction. Do your students understand this concept? Are they ready to move on to the next part of fractions on a number line? Is re-teaching required? Do you need to work with small groups on any of the concepts?

**Wrap-Up** – Let’s consolidate learning and reinforce the fact that fractions are numbers that can be represented on a number line. (3 minutes)

- Draw a giant number line on the whiteboard. Label it with 0 and 1.
- Hand a sticky note to each student. Ask students to write a fraction between 0 and 1 on their sticky note.
- In groups, have students approach the board and place the sticky note on the number line where they think it should go.
- This is another opportunity to check for any misunderstandings.

I’ve made this entire lesson plan available to you in a PDF version. If you haven’t already done so, download it here.

**FOLLOW UP**

These task cards for Fractions on a Number Line are a great way to reinforce this skill in a variety of different ways in order to maximize understanding. Get them HERE.

**NEXT STEPS**

Now that students have been introduced to the concept of fractions on a number line, we can keep reinforcing this concept. In upcoming lessons, be sure to focus on the following concepts:

- ordering fractions on a number line
- comparing fractions on a number line
- finding equivalent fractions using number lines
- problem solving with fractions using a number line
- relating number lines to other visual models (example: representing a fraction as a part of a whole circle, and as a part of a set, and on a number line)

If this all feels overwhelming to you, and you would like the planning done for you, you’ll want to check out The Fraction Station. This is a self-paced, student-centered approach to teaching fractions. Students work at their own pace to complete the levels, each of which includes independent activity sheets and hands-on activities. Check out the third and fourth grade fraction stations here.

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