Equivalent Fractions

Wikimedia Commons

What are Equivalent Fractions?

Equivalent fractions are two fractions that are equal to each other, despite using different numbers. They are the same part of a whole. For example,

You can multiply both the numerator and denominator (that is, top and bottom) of the left hand side by 2 and it would look identical to the right hand side.


Equivalent Fractions Unit Chart
Wikimedia Commons

When Do We Use Equivalent Fractions?

Most often you will use equivalent fractions when adding or subtracting fractions. This is because fractions must have the same denominator before they can be added or subtracted. For example, you cannot add  without finding the common denominator–6 is the least common multiple–and converting both items to an equivalent fraction.

How to Find Equivalent Fractions

As mentioned in the previous section, we must multiply the top and bottom of the left hand side by 3 and the right hand side by 2. By using equivalent fractions, we are able to transform the two terms into ones with common denominators:

Similarly, we could have just as easily subtracted the two terms:

Equivalent Fractions Examples

Equivalent Fractions Games

Equivalent Fractions Bingo

The title is a bit of a misnomer as the game is more similar to tic-tac-toe (3×3 grid); you claim a square each time you answer a question correctly. It involves matching a given fraction with its equivalent counterpart. It offers two game modes: easy and challenge. In the easy mode, there is always only 1 step required to answer correctly. The challenge mode sometimes requires the simplification of a fraction before finding its equivalent.

Equivalent Fractions Bingo

Equivalent Fractions Dominoes or Another Dominoes Set

Printable dominoes (again, card stock much easier to use than paper) with fractions on each side. The idea is to match domino sides with equivalent fractions, much as you would with regular dominoes.

Matching Game

As a matching game, it is rather straightforward with a nice, clean interface and timer to track how quickly one completes the game. Each face-down card contains a fraction and has an equivalent fraction match somewhere on the board. Some of the fractions are large enough that I found myself not thinking through the simplification process, which led me to blindly click cards until a match was found. Unfortunately, this then limits the learning potential.

Interactive Shapes

Don’t click the link if you’re looking for gripping graphics. The basic presentation, by design, encourages learners to interact by designing their own shapes divided into equal parts, which can then be shaded to match the provided fracation. The timeline which shows the example fraction and the user’s fraction is a great idea. It provides an additional visual element and shows users how two fractions related to one another.

Equivalent Fractions Shapes

Equivalent Fractions Worksheets

Fraction War

This free worksheet from weareteachers.com offers fraction “cards” that can be printed (preferably on card stock for better handling) and used in a game of War, with the highest fraction winning. The cards are excellently designed to make it easy for beginner learners to visualize fractions and determine which is greater. Ties occur when each player has an equivalent fraction of the other player’s card.Equivalent Fractions War Worksheet

 

Multiple Choice Worksheets

Dr. Mike has ready-made worksheets for practicing equivalent fractions identification. Each worksheet–50 in total–has 12 questions. Five different levels of difficulty provide nice scaffolding.

Helping with Math Worksheets

Lots of worksheets with convenient Print buttons to ensure you get a properly formatted page when printed. Especially helpful for helping learners understand multiplying by equal numbers in denominator and numerator to form equivalent fractions.

Equivalent Fractions Learning Products

F-R-A-N-G-O

Yes, it is a mashup of the words fraction and bingo. And, no, you are not alone in making fun of it (or at least I hope I am not alone). However, from the images (disclaimer: have not tried them myself), it seems like a nice game similar to the printable dominoes sets mentioned earlier on this page. These have the advantage of being a 3-dimensional shape that young learners and pick up and manipulate more readily than paper.

Equivalent Fractions Game: Frango
Amazon

As an alternative, you can try the equivalent fractions domino set from Learning Advantage.

Magnetic Rainbow Fraction Tiles

It’s no secret we love our magnetic learning toys here at LTS (see our Magformers page). These are a much simpler design than (i.e., very basic) but can still be a nice visual learning tool. Small size makes these ideal for an individual or small group. Most common complaints are the need to purchase a storage system–the pre-packaged bag does not seal–and the need to supply an object for these to attach to (i.e., they are magnetic both the manufacturer does not include anything, such as a metal strip, for the tiles to work with).

Equivalent Fractions Magnetic Rainbow Learning Tiles
Amazon
About Brian 51 Articles
Brian is an engineer, librarian, and general STEM enthusiast who hopes his daughter one day conquers the world. Even if it is just one of her own creation.

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