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Number Line for Equivalent Fractions 101: 4 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Instruction

Equivalent Fractions on a Number Line

How do you feel knowing that number line for equivalent fractions is the next topic you have to tackle? Does it shoot your stress up to the same level as the Bachelor finale night? Do you feel a swarm of butterflies take flight in your stomach?

Number line for equivalent fractions is a tricky topic to teach. Your students may struggle to understand how to align on the number line or are intimidated by a new way to understand number lines. 

So, today, I’m sharing 4 ways to teach equivalent fractions on the number line…

1. Help Students Visualize Fractions

Although students struggle to understand number lines for equivalent fractions, it is an essential representation for them to master because it helps them visualize fractions. In addition, when students can visualize the size of the parts, they can compare them more effectively. 

A number line provides a clear representation of parts of a whole as a distance or time frame. Students can get a great side-by-side comparison view with these equivalent fractions number line worksheets.

Read why you shouldn’t ditch fraction manipulatives.

2. Create Discussions

One favorite way to spark student discussion is to display an example and a non-example of an equivalent fraction on a number line. 

Without explanation, have students make observations about the two representations. Then, have them talk with a partner about what they think is right and what they believe is wrong. If the partners disagree, they have to defend their answers, creating a beautiful assessment of their understanding. 

You can extend the discussion by asking students to develop a solution to make the non-example an example. 

A simplified version of this activity would look like putting up a number line divided in half accurately and a second number line incorrectly divided in half. Then, students discuss which one they think is correct and why.

3. Repetitive Practice Skills (Doesn’t Have to be Boring!)

Let’s be honest, your textbook never has enough practice opportunities for your students to understand equivalent fractions on a number line. 

They need additional practice, but they need a review that isn’t intimidating. That’s why I suggest these worksheets that scaffold your students. The worksheets start with labeled number lines and slowly take components away to support the students in creating their own.

For example, one set includes a labeled number line while other practice pages have students label the number lines themselves. It comes down to giving them practice at their level and then stepping them to the next level of understanding.

4. Multiple Representations

How many representations of equivalent fractions do you teach? The number line is an excellent view. However, exposing students to all other models gives them a chance to broaden their understanding of the topic. 

Other representations to expose your students too are fraction models, pie charts, and word problems. Also, I love using fraction tiles for a hands-on experience. Finally, if you are looking for a virtual option, Toy Theater has every math manipulative you can think of!

The Reviews Are In!

When you take the time to dive into equivalent fractions with a plan and excellent resources, you’re setting your students up for success. That’s why I created these equivalent fractions worksheets! I want you to have everything you need.

Here’s what teachers are saying about them…

“MUCH better than my school’s current available lessons. Really helped kiddos understand equivalence without the stress of creating their own bars.” -Katina

Excellent practice for equivalent fractions, students have difficulty seeing equal pieces when they are in different sizes. This resource made it way easier! -Valeria

My students were having some trouble with fractions on a number line, so this gave them so much extra practice! They were able to get the review they needed in a way that was not intimidating, as there weren’t too many questions on each page. -Melanie

If you’re ready to feel prepared for your equivalent fractions on Monday, download this bundle to feel at ease and prepared to go!

 Click here for my guide on the 5 Equivalent Fractions Hacks.

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I design curriculum and am a self proclaimed tech nerd! I love designing resources to make teachers’ lives easier. In addition, I blog all things education. Let’s get to know each other and connect!