Determining Equivalence

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Math & Movement

Activity Instructions

Create ‘picture frames’ out of colored paper. You can fold a piece of paper in half and cut along the edges to make a rectangular cut out. You can also laminate these ‘picture frames’ to make them more durable to reuse!

There are a number of approaches to help students understand equivalent fractions.

To determine if 3/5 is equivalent to 12/20, consider the following methods:

Method One
Place an orange picture frame on the 3 and 12. Place a green picture frame on the 5 and 20.

Ask the question, 3 times what is 12? Answer is 4. Ask the question, 5 times what is 20? Answer is 4. The answers are the same, thus 3/5 is equivalent to 12/20.

Method Two
Put a red picture frame over the number 3. Put a red picture frame over the number 20. Put a blue picture frame over the number 5 and another over the number 12. Put arrows on mat to indicate that student is to cross multiply.

Is 3/5 equivalent to 12/20? Multiply 3×20 (=60) and 5×12 (=60). Is the answer the same? Yes—so 3/5 is equivalent to 12/20. Fractions are equal if the product of the means equals to the product of the extremes. (From the Means-Extremes Property of Proportions)