# More Fractions Background Information for Teachers, Parents and Caregivers

This page provides information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about more fractions. It is designed to complement the More Fractions topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

We highly recommend reviewing the Basic Parts of a Whole movie before exploring this movie. The Basic Fractions movie introduces fractions and explores unit fractions, including one-half, one-third, and one-fourth. This movie will go beyond unit fractions and further investigate fractions of sets. We encourage children to work with counters, small objects, or even food to help them experiment with different parts of a whole or set.

Review with children that a fraction is a number that shows part of a whole. You may wish to introduce a simple fraction such as one-half. You can take a piece of paper and cut it in half to show that there are two equal parts. Remind children that since there are two equal parts, two goes in the denominator, or the bottom of the fraction. Then take one half away. What fraction of the whole paper is left? Point out that there is only one of two parts remaining, so one goes in the numerator, or the top of the fraction. Thus, one-half of the paper is left. You may wish to continue this activity with other unit fractions, including one-third and one-fourth.

Help children move beyond unit fractions. You can divide a piece of paper into eighths and color two sections blue. Ask children to identify the fraction of the paper that is blue. Help them count the total number of sections (eight) and put that number in the denominator. Then count the total number of blue sections (two) and put that number in the numerator. Thus, two-eighths of the paper is blue. Repeat the activity by having students identify the fraction of the paper that is *not* blue. Six-eighths of the paper is not blue. Repeat the activity again to explore other fractions, such as three-fourths, five-sixths, and eight-tenths. You may wish to have students work in pairs and trade off coloring in squares and writing fractions that name the colored and plain parts.

Help children understand how fractions can name a whole. Divide a piece of paper into fourths and color all the sections blue. What fraction of the paper is blue? Guide children to understand that there are four equal parts, so four is the denominator. How many parts are blue? Guide children to count the blue sections and put four in the numerator. So four-fourths of the paper is blue. That means the whole paper is blue. Help children understand that four-fourths, five-fifths, eight-eighths and so on, all represent a whole.

Explain to children that fractions can also name no parts! Take a piece of white paper and divide it into sixths. Since there are six equal parts, six goes in the denominator. How many parts are blue? Since none of the parts are blue, you put zero in the numerator. Repeat this activity to represent other fractions.

Explore fractions of sets together. Show a collection of fruit, such as three apples and two bananas. What fraction of the pieces of fruit are apples? Guide children to count all the fruit and put that number (five) in the denominator. Then have them count the number of apples and put that number (three) in the numerator. Thus, three-fifths of the fruit are apples. Then show the same collection and ask what fraction of the fruit are oranges. Help them understand that zero out of the five fruit are oranges!

You may want children to work in pairs and use counters or objects to create a set. Then have them challenge each other to name fractions that describe their sets, being sure to write their fractions down. Fractions can be challenging for some children, but hands-on exploration can help young learners understand and practice the concepts so they can become experts!