*David Wood*Show bio

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Instructor:
*David Wood*
Show bio

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Fractions are a challenge for students to learn, and 4th graders are right in the thick of it. Help them with the process by adding a bit of fun to their learning, and try some of these fractions games.

Fractions can be a challenge for 4th graders. Not only do they have to understand them, but they have to deal with many types of questions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, equivalent fractions, shading questions, number lines, ordering, and more. This makes games invaluable for teaching such an involved topic. Let's take a look at a few ideas.

This game requires you to create a deck of cards containing pairs that represent the same fraction. The pairs could be equivalent fractions (like 2/3 and 4/6) or they could be different ways of showing the same fraction (3/4, and a circle with three quarters shaded, or a number line representing three quarters, etc.)

These cards are then placed face-down in a grid on a table or desk. Players take turns choosing two cards to turn over. If the two cards match, they keep them and score a point. If the two cards don't match, they're turned face-down again. This continues until all the pairs are claimed. The person with the most pairs at the end, wins. Not only does this game teach fractions, but it helps students improve their memory.

For this game, you will need to create two decks of cards, in addition to a regular deck of playing cards. These decks can be created most easily by simply writing on index cards. One deck of cards will contain several copies of the symbols for plus, minus, divide and multiply. The other deck will contain challenges, including:

- Have the lowest answer
- Have the highest answer
- Have an answer that doesn't need to be simplified
- Have an answer that is a top heavy fraction
- Have an answer that contains only even numbers
- Have an answer that contains only odd numbers
- Anything else you can think of

Each player will also have a playing mat or area containing five slots, positioned similarly to the dots on a five-dot side of a dice - four corners, and one slot in the middle. These slots can just be squares drawn on a regular piece of paper.

Two or more players will face off against each other. At the start of each round, every player will draw one symbol, and one challenge. The symbol will go in the center slot of their playing area, and the challenge will go off to one side, out of the way. Players will then take turns drawing playing cards and placing them in one of the four remaining slots. After every player has their slots filled, they will complete the fractions question in front of them (such as 4/5 multiplied by 9/8), simplify their answer, write it down, and declare it to the group. Then they will check their work.

Next, they will calculate their score for that round. They will receive one point for a correct answer to the problem (before checking their work), and an additional two points if they completed their challenge. Students will gradually learn how to be strategic about where they place their playing cards to try to complete their challenge. After as many rounds as time allows (perhaps ten), the game ends and the player with the most points is the winner.

One thing students must be able to do is to put fractions in order from smallest to largest. This can be turned into a mini-game by creating a chain of fractions stuck to a whiteboard, or in another prominent location. Students in the class take turns choosing two fractions to swap. Play passes around the classroom, with everyone getting a turn. If a student is unsure, he still has to swap something, so the game can progress backwards as well as forwards. This continues until the fractions are finally in order. If a full class is too much, this game can also be played in groups.

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