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When students are only exposed to algorithms, they may not fully understand the operation.As a result, they will struggle with choosing the correct operations when solving word problems.I also use student names or teacher names in the problems whenever possible and friendly fractions for easy modeling and visualizing.
They read the word problem and then check the chart for a matching situation.
Since it is impossible to expose students to every type of situation and context, the blurb at the end of the chart is key.
Findley purchased 1/2 of a pound of chocolate fudge. Dividing Fractions Introductory Word Problem: Jamal’s mother made 1/3 of a pound of his favorite fudge, peanut butter caramel fudge. Once my students have “mastered” multiplying and dividing fractions and have seen each in a variety of contexts (through the word problems I use), they are ready to tackle both and see the connections and differences between the two.
After dinner that night, she ate 1/4 of the chocolate fudge that she bought. To do this, I use this anchor chart to show some of the situations and contexts that require multiplication and division of fractions.
4 Ways to Teach Students to Make Common Denominators: Read about the four ways I teach my students to find common denominators and grab a free printable.
Free Fraction Activities: Grab some super easy to prep fraction activities on this post.Here are my go-to introductory word problems for when I first introduce multiplying and dividing fractions (again I introduce each one separately).I prefer to use fudge for all of my introductory word problems because I love fudge, my students love it, the contexts make sense and are relatable, and it is almost an inside joke between us by the middle of the year.Solution: Fraction of girls studying in school = 1/2 Fraction of girls studying in lower classes = 3/5 of 1/2 = 3/5 × 1/2 = 3 × 1/5 × 2 = 3/10 Therefore, 3/10 of girls studying in lower classes. This tutorial shows you how to take a word problem and translate it into a mathematical equation involving a complex fraction.In addition to the above anchor chart, we also do a word problem sort.The word problems were specifically written to match the contexts from the chart so this is a great extension of the lesson involving the anchor chart.We discuss each one and how it relates back to multiplication and division.My students then use this chart (and the printable version I provide – available for free in the next section) to support them as they solve word problems.The students read the word problems, check the chart, and then sort them accordingly.I do this activity with partners or small groups (pulling a group to work with me that may struggle based on previous assessments using exit slips), but this could also be done as a math center activity.