Sunday, March 9, 2014

Working with Fractions- Must Read Math Mentor Text

Hey there!

I am here to share a math must read!  I'm sort of cheating a little again because this book has been shared before in this linky, but it's so great I thought it deserved another share!  It was originally shared by Miss King at Miss King's Enchanted Kingdom, and someone else may have shared it, but I looked through all of the link ups and didn't find it in the pictures, so if you shared it, and I missed you, let me know!

The book I am going to share with you today is called Working with Fractions and it is by David Adler!

This is an adorable book!  The illustrations are engaging and it is full of text and numbers!!

You could read this all in one sitting as an introduction to fractions, or, you can read a few pages at a time because it really covers everything about fractions!  I used it a few pages at a time when I pulled my small math groups.

I love that it includes money as fractions:
I also like that it shows students how to fold paper to find fractions.  I read these pages, and then we did a paper folding activity with it.  This was a great way for me to just observe them and their understanding of fractions.  We did this at the beginning of the unit.
With my small groups, I had them fold a piece of paper in half.  I asked them how many sections the paper would have.  Then, we folded it in half again.  They all knew there would be 4 sections.  Then, I had them fold it in half again.  I asked them, before we opened it, how many sections they thought there would be.  Some said 6 and some said 8.  We unfolded them and then checked.  I asked them why there were 8 sections and not 6.  They all came to the realization (some with a little help) that we were doubling it each time we folded it in half.  Then I asked, if we folded it again, how many sections do you think we'd have.  They said 16!

Once they had their paper folded and opened back up, I asked them to shade half of the sections.  They all figured out that it was 4/8.  We wrote it on our paper.
Then I had them flip the paper over and shade 1/4 of the sections.  This was interesting.  Even though we had just folded it, many of them still only shaded 1 section.  So, then I said, ok, you shaded one.  How many sections are on your paper.  They said 8.  I said, so actually, the fraction would be what?  Ohhhhh, 1/8.  So then they had to rethink and figure it out.  My goal was for them to "see" where we had folded it into fourths, even though there were 8 sections.
Then, I wanted to see if this would transfer to a numberline.  I gave them a strip of paper and said, draw me a numberline on here and label it/divide it into 8ths.  Sure enough, most of them did NOT fold the paper.  They just tried to draw the numberline.  However, there were two or three (in my high groups) that looked at me and said, can I fold the paper?  I shrugged, smiled, and said, I don't know, can you?  And so they did.  And as soon as they did that, their friends figured out that would be a good idea, too.  In my groups where no one thought of it, I let them draw it and then I said, hmmmm, I wonder if we can use the activity we just did to help us draw a numberline so that we can be sure our sections are equal?  And then they said, ohhhhh, we can fold the paper!  I said, yes, let's fold it and see how we did.  So, they folded it and checked their work!  I just want them to know they can fold their paper to find equivalent fractions if they need to!!
There is also a great website that I had found a while back that gives even more ideas on paper folding and fractions!  The website is  You can click the photo below to see more!

The book also has a section on making equivalent fractions and how it works with multiplying by a whole.
And it also explains adding and subtracting fractions.
And, there is much, much more in this book!!!  I HIGHLY recommend it and I'm so thankful we host this linky and get to learn from you guys each week about books that are working in your classroom!!  I learn a LOT each week!!!  So, keep linking up!!!  And if you aren't a blogger, I do hope you come back and check out all of the books that are linked up!  They will help you too, I'm sure of it!  :O)

Next week's linky- Science


  1. Thank you so much for this book recommendation - I must have missed it the first time but I am going to look for it now (even if I have to order it !!). Also thanks for the link to the website. I usually use a book as a mini-lesson or intro for a whole group but I like how you use it with small groups - I may have to steal that too! Hope you ladies are having a great weekend!

  2. I used this book for fractions, too! We read it over a course of a few days to cover all the topics we needed. :o)
    ideas by jivey
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  3. Thank you for the book recommendation. I'm new to your site, but I have been learning so much. I have one more year till graduation. Thanks for the recommendation and the tips on how to use it on the classroom. Thanks :)

  4. This looks like a great book! I do have to say that I miss exploring fractions with fifth graders--a bit. :0) I will pass on this text to an old teaching mate. Thanks for sharing and the opportunity to link up!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers


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