Fractions are everywhere. Next time you see a sale price (such as 1/3 off), or tell the time (“It’s a quarter after 9”), use measuring cups in a recipe (such as 1/2 cup), or read a road sign (exit is 1/4 mile ahead), be sure to point out, “There’s another fraction!”
Playing card games is a great way to help kids practice comparing and adding fractions. Making a set of fraction cards helps youngsters understand how fractions represent parts of a whole. Older kids should help make the cards.
You Will Need:
Marker or Crayons
Round Lid or Plastic Cup to Trace
How to Make Fraction Cards:
1. Write down a list of fractions for kids to use to make fraction cards. We used 1/2, 1/3, 2/3, 1/4, 3/4, 1/8, and 7/8).
2. Draw a circle on each index card by tracing a round plastic cup of a jar lid as a guide.
3. Divide each circle into an equal number of slices based on the bottom number (denominator) and color the number of slices in the top number (numerator).
4. Make at least 3 cards for each fraction so you have a small deck of cards.
How to Play Fraction War:
Shuffle and deal the cards into an equal stack for each person. Players turn over their top card at the same time. Whoever has the highest card takes the cards in that round. If there is a tie, each person turns over another card until one player has a higher card. Keep playing until one person has captured all the cards.
Deal each player five cards. On the count of three, each person races to put their fraction in order from smallest to largest. Allow the kids to look at the circles on the cards to help compare fractions.
This is more advanced for older students. The object of this game it to add fractions to get as close to the number one as possible without going over. On each turn, a player must decide whether to draw another card — depending on whether adding another fraction will liely put them over the number one. When all the players are happy with their hands. they turn over their cards. The person who comes closest to the number one, without going over, wins that round.
Resources for Educators, 2011
Photos and cards by Stephanie Felzenberg and her charges