Over 20 of the best online fraction teaching resources

Attack fraction frustration with this hand-picked selection of the best  fraction resources on the web.   They have all passed the selection criteria of providing easily and clearly understandable accurate explanations of fraction operations, and/or providing effective practice opportunities.   The list includes interactive sites for visualizing fractions, and  games and worksheets.


Most of the games in this list do not involve timed activities, as time induced stress often often reduces performance  resulting in a frustrating and discouraging experience.  Game activities which do rely on timed activities should only be attempted by students who are already confident of their number skills.

Free sites

Illuminations:

This site has seven Fraction Activities  for exploring  fractions. Some require flash, others java. One intriguing one uses the different sized gears on a bike to pedal distances by creating fractions. Quite challenging. There are different bike courses to complete with a different par value (the number of complete pedal turns) for each course to try to beat.

GeoGebra Wiki- Fractions

A large collection of interactives demonstrating various aspects of fractions made using GeoGebra. Those looking for extension activities can use GeoGebra (a free program ) to create their own activities. Geogebra activities can often be operated directly from a java enabled browser, or Geogebra can be used offline by installing it directly on any operating platform.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives lives up to its name with many many virtual manipulatives . Those that involve fractions include:-

Diffy – keep filling in the blank space with the value that is the difference of two numbers until their are no blanks left. Can be set up for fractions.

Factor Tree lets you drill down finding the factors of one or two numbers – good for finding highest common factor

Multiplication of Fractions – virtual manipulative that let’s you visualize  fraction multiplication

Rename fractions so that both fractions have a common denominator. Various levels of difficulty.

Visual fractions Great collection of interactives (flash) for working with fractions. Although the degree of difficulty seems to be random rather than progressively more difficult, but it is still a good site. While the method of presentation is common to a number of programs,  Visual Fractions does a particularly good job of providing  suitable  accompanying text.

Fraction Games Online Four fun games (in flash format) – 2  that practice identifying fractions and 2 for recognising equivalent fractions. Fraction Balls (screenshot below)  is popular.  It’s worth checking out the home page of MathGames for other fun maths activities.

Learn with Math – Fraction Math Games This site is a mixture of online activities links to other sites, as well as classroom activities. There is such a huge collection here that it deserves a mention, but it’s a mixed bag, as a  few of the activities are possibly more confusing and than instructional.    The Online Fractions Games page has a great collection of fraction based games from around the web.

Vectorkids: fractions. A simple little flash interactive to practice identifying fractions.

Games Central: Melvin’ Make A Match A flash activity that involves matching partially shaded shape to a fraction

Death to Decimals: An easy paced shoot the correct decimal match for the fraction.

Jamit Fractions – Lessons and Games Nicely explained series of lessons on fractions, with a series of accompanying games (java applets) that test knowledge of the lesson (basically simple shoot-em-ups or similar). Often the game is a reward activity for getting 10 sums correct answers.  Where math activities are incorporated directly into the game time pressure is avoided.

Fraction Worksheets: Fraction problem Generator (from Jamit site)creates free printables for practice in mulitplying and dividing fractions, as well as  equivalent fractions, LCM, HCF, and comparing common fractions.  Each worksheet can be created in three or four levels of difficulty (though even the easy level is often above basic level), and each sheet is randomly generated each time (with an answer sheet). Unfortunately when I last checked there was a problem generating the question sheets for the last few activities.

Old Egyptian Maths Cats A series on interactive puzzles (requires java).  The challenge is to find two or three fractions with different denominators that can be added together to make another faction with a different denominator. eg 1/2 + 1/6 = 2/3, but there are 4 other possible solutions. Number of possible solutions and degree of difficulty is shown. A nice extended activity that requires excellent fraction comprehension. Some of the questions are very challenging.

MathSplat: a fun activity that requires solving fraction problems by selecting the correct answer. Simple but nicely done. There’s probably more activities on this site but I can’t work out how to access them.

Who wants Pizza: asks various questions about how a pizza is being shared amongst children, followed by simple online quiz.  Nice logical and gentle  presentation of various fraction manipulations.  Screens are uncluttered and easy to understand.

Fraction Frenzy is a race to find equivalent fractions. Good for practice once the concept is mastered.

Robo Solitaire 13: While it has nothing to do with fractions, it is an ingenious way to get students adding lots of numbers.

Helping with Math

This site has a fairly extensive section on fractions targetting home schooling parents, along with very clearly explained videos.

Resources on this site also includes  two good practice activities for mastering equivalent fractions.

MatchingFraction Game – Equivalent Fractions is a simple drag and drop activity.

Targetting Equivalent Fractions is a very simple point and shoot game.

Commercial sites:

These sites have some free content and / or a free trial period.  They operate on a subscription per year fee.

Conceptua Math – Free Tools for Teachers Very nice collection of interactives, along with a short video explaining how to use each interactive. ( links to the interactives are immediately to the right of the demo video.Each tool has an exploratory mode and a problem solving mode. Very highly reccommended. Sample lesson plans are also provided.  While an extensive range of interactive tools are available for free, the entire site can be accessed for classroom use for $1.50 to $3.00 per year per student, or $60 per child for home schooling.  ($US)

Learning Planet: a commercial site with a large range of activities  – family membership with 5 students $40.00, classroom – 30 students for $100.00. Ten day free trial.

Explore elearning has 29 interactive gizmos that involve fractions.  Each activity is limited to five minutes,  though 30 day trial with unlimited time is available. Schools can negotiate rates and can create classes giving access to  all students in class.

Worksheets and online coaching and quizes

Mr Martini’s Classroom – Fractions Simple but effectively presented fraction problems for 9 different types of fraction operations.

RicksMath -Tips and Tricks for Solving Fractions: Probably more useful as a revision learning summary of fractions. Everything is there and fully explained, but the explanations might be a little confusing for someone beginning fractions. Still it does a better job than a lot of other sites.

Home School Maths has activities,  worksheets and an extensive a nicely organised link list of games.

Home School Math – Fraction Worksheet Generator.  Allows you to enter the number of questions reqired, the type of operation, range for numerator, range for denominator etc. Also prints an answer sheet.

Home School Math – Fraction Worksheets 2: Equivalent fractions, simplifying fractions and converting from improper to mixed fractions. Similar options to above to generate questions.

Home School Math – Fraction Decimal Worksheets

WebMath: Webmath is a math-help web site that generates answers to specific math questions and problems, as entered by a user, at any particular moment. The math answers are generated and displayed real-time, at the moment a web user types in their math problem and clicks “solve.” In addition to the answers, Webmath also shows the student how to arrive at the answer. (though sometimes a little recipe driven – no explanation of why dividing by a fraction is the same as inverting the fraction and multiplying)

Videos

Although there is a huge number of videos about fractions, it’s next to impossible to find a good quality video. Many provide rote techniques with no attempt to explain why the technique works eg (turn the fraction upside down and multiply to divide). These two offerings are a more light hearted loook at fractions.

Action at the Fraction Bar: light-hearted You Tube musical about fractions. 2mins 21secs. “Heading down in my LCD – lowest common denominator ……..my numerator’s up, my denominator’s down…”

Matrix Learning – Number Rights by NSMU cartoon video with a entertaining appeal for the rights for down-trodden fractions

Teaching ideas

Teaching fractions: Since Singapore math is all the rage at present, how about some fractions Singapore style in this slide show presentation.

Fraction Math for the iPhone :  If you hadn’t thought about smart phones for teaching fractions, think again. My guess is the price of these will be tumbling soon as phone service providers sweeten their contract deals with bargain priced phones. Fraction Math1 is downloadable to the iPhone for $1.00, and has excellent reviews as an engaging learning activity.

There must be some good ones I’ve missed. If you find one, please add the suggestion in the comments below.

4 comments

  1. Victor says:

    Nice post! I just wrote about some good fraction resources here(http://teacher-21st.blogspot.com/2010/08/fraction-resources-and-games.html) .
    However, I had missed a few of the good resources you listed on this one.

  2. Marg says:

    Thankyou for suggesting other resources. I really like the ones at Math Warehouse – http://www.mathwarehouse.com/fractions/

    Of the games at theMathGames.com. , Fraction Balls is my favourite. The pace is not too demanding, and it has just a nice feel to it. I’m not so sure about Fraction Frenzy (a totally different fraction frenzy to the one above) and the Equivalent fractions game. I feel there is too much emphasis on getting the answer right in a short period of time, a difficult task for the alarmingly high proportion of today’s students who haven’t mastered their multiplication tables sufficiently to let them find the answers quickly.

    In Fraction Frenzy – identifying fractions – it is often easy to guess the correct answer simply by counting the numerator and ignoring the denominator, so I feel it might be better avoided.

  3. Victor says:

    Yeah, I prefer Fraction Balls myself and my students really love it.

    Just so you know, if you set the difficulty level to ‘go easy’ for the Frenzy games at TheMathGames.com …there is not time constriction. So students won’t feel pressured.

    Thanks again for the great list!

  4. Marg says:

    Thanks Victor for the tip about changing the difficulty level – it’s nice to have the option of no timer. I still prefer the equivalent fraction activities at the Helping with Math site (recently added to this list), on the basis that fraction frenzy doesn’t give you any chance to correct a mistake.

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