Math & Movement
(1) After using concrete models and manipulatives to understand that fractions are equal parts of a whole number, students can begin to place these values on the number line.
(2) Place “0” and “1” at opposite ends of the Open Number Line mat. Start with unit fractions. Ask students to show where 1/2 would go on the number line. Place a 1/2 number card in the correct place (hash mark).
(3) Students should have a basic understanding that, in a fraction, the larger the denominator is, the smaller the fractional value. Hence, 1/3 has a larger value than 1/6. Have students place common unit fractions on the number line using what they know about the relationship of the numerator and denominator (1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/4, 1/3). Students should realize how these values are all less than 1/2.
(4) Next, have students practice placing other benchmark fractions on the number line (2/4, 3/4, 2/3) and whole fractions (2/2, 3/3, 4/4). As students progress with their fraction understanding, they can begin to add other fractional values to the number line.
(5) Challenge students by giving them five fraction cards to put in order from least to greatest.
(6) Students can also use the number line to determine equivalent fractions or the difference between fractions with the same denominator (for example, the distance from 1/4 to 3/4 is 2/4).