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NYU Steinhardt EMAT Teaching Residency
Hotchalk Global

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This lesson is meant as an Introduction to Fractions, using manipulative blocks




4, 3  

Title – Fraction Blocks
By – Jamie Rettke
Subject – Math
Grade Level – 3-4
Topic: Mathematics – Introduction to Fractions

State Standards:

  • State Goal 6: Demonstrate and apply a knowledge and sense of numbers, including numeration and operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) patterns, ratios, and proportions.
  • Learning Standard 6.B: Investigate, represent, and solve problems using number facts, operations, and their properties, algorithms, and relationships.
  • 6.B.2: Solve one- and two-step problems involving whole numbers, fractions, and decimals.

Objectives: When asked, the students will be able to:

1.      Identify the numerator and denominator of various fractions

2.      Create visual representations of fractions using manipulative blocks


Manipulative blocks or chips of at least two colors


1.      Draw a picture of a square on the board.  Divide this shape into four equal parts, shading in 1 section.  Ask the students how many parts are shaded (1/4).  Explain that this is a fraction because 1 of 4 equal parts is shaded.  Stress to the students that the “parts” must be equal. Do a few more examples using different shapes.

2.      Demonstrate how to write a fraction and identify the numerator and the denominator.

3.      Divide the class into groups of two.  Explain to the students that each pair will be given a set of colored manipulative blocks.  (The blocks used in this lesson where able to connect forming a line.)  It is the students’ job to try to create visual representations of each fraction in the book.

4.      Pass out the blocks to each group.  Allow time for students to complete each set of fractions.  An example would be: ¾ – the student would stack 3 red blocks and 1 blue.  Therefore 3 out of 4 blocks are red = ¾.  The students should complete each fraction in this way.

5.      Once adequate time has been allowed the class will come together as a group.  At this time, call out various fractions to see which team can visually represent the fraction first.

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