Learning fractions can be incredibly challenging for students. But visuals make understanding them so much easier.
While we love using pool noodles to teach fractions, paper plate fractions are another great alternative. We found this assortment of colorful paper plates on Amazon , giving us several different colors in a single order. Then it was easy to cut them up to represent different measurements. Take a look at the video to see how it all came together and then get our instructions to make your own.
What You Need
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Organize your plates.
Before you start labeling or cutting, you’ll want to get organized. Lay your plates out and figure out how you want to use each color. For older students, you can create a single master set of fraction plates and let them work independently. So you’ll want to clearly label each color by the measurement. (If you don’t have different colors of plates, have your students color them instead.) We did the following:
- Yellow = 1
- Pink = 1/2
- Red = 1/4
- Orange = 1/3
- Blue = 1/8
Measure and cut.
Once you’ve decided how you will divide and label the paper plates, measure and cut. You want your measurements to be accurate so students can mix and match pieces when practicing fractions.
Label and test.
The final step is to clearly label all the pieces of your plates. We suggest making the labels nice and big on the front of the plate. As an added challenge, you could label them on the back instead. Then test them out by encouraging your students to mix and match their measurements to get to a whole.
Have you tried paper plate fractions? Have another creative way to teach this tough concept? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out these fractions games to try in your classroom.