This is a concept that has made some shifts with the Common Core Standards. The concept is introduced by having students fold paper into parts to see how fractions are created from a whole. Number lines have been added and provided a great visual for the students to see what is happening. This strategy is introduced in 3rd grade and progresses through the grades with mixed numbers. As we move to multiplication and division drawing pictures has been a vital tool. Instead of moving straight to an algorithm the students gain a good understanding of what happens when we multiply and divide with fractions.

Shifts in Fractions

Using visuals to understand adding and subtracting fractions

Using visuals to understand multiplying fractions

Dividing unit fractions by whole number using a visual model

Dividing fractions using models

Place Fractions on a Number Line