Year 3 & 4: Proportional Reasoning, Decimals, Fractions and Percentages
This list consists of activities, games and videos designed to support the new curriculum programme of study in Years 3 and 4. Containing tips on using the resources and suggestions for further use it covers:
Year 3: tenths, fractions of amounts, recognise and use fractions as numbers, equivalent fractions,add and subtarcy fractions within one whole, compare and order fractions and sole problems involving fractions.
Year 4: equivalent fraction families, hundredths, solving problems involving fractions, add and subtract fractions(same denominator), decimal equivalents of tenths, hundredths and 1/4, 1/2, 3/4.
Visit the primary mathematics webpage to access all lists.
Links and Resources
Children often find difficulties understanding a fraction as part of a whole, requiring experience visually and practically of creating simple fractions of shapes in order to gain a more secure understanding of what a fraction actually is. This activity shows how to use Cuisenaire rods to introduce or reinforce fractions as part of a whole. It also may be used to show fraction families using a concrete, visual representation. It could be used as a whole class activity or with small groups of children. Build all of the possible one-colour trains to match the purple rod. Fitting them underneath they then resemble a fraction wall where children can describe the fractional parts of the whole purple rod. They then investigate the other coloured rods and their fractional parts, for example halves and quarters and thirds and sixths.
Designed for use on the interactive whiteboard, the uses of this resource are immense. Fractions are an extremely difficult concept for many children so using visual representations is a great way of learning about them. The fractions tool allows you to show fraction strips of your choice, compare equivalent fractions and show decimal equivalents. Use it as a counting tool to count up and down in tenths and recognise that tenths arise from dividing an object into 10 equal parts. Use a second strip above the first divided into tenths, but use the decimal button to show the equivalent decimal to 1/10, 2/10 and so on. This could help to illustrate decimal equivalents of any number of tenths. The strips could also be used to introduce the idea of hundredths by dividing the strip by 100.
This selection of worksheets is a great addition to fractions lessons throughout KS2 and beyond. On page 6 in book one, match the shapes with coloured parts showing equivalent fractions. Folding a sheet of A-4 paper into fraction strips is a way to show visually how fractions are equivalent. Children always enjoy folding the strips or cutting out equivalent fractions to make fraction families. Page 8 in book 2 provides a fraction wall which is a great visual to introduce equivalent fractions and also shows that they are all parts of one whole. Make smaller versions which children can keep in their books or on tables as a reference point.
Page 19 details a fraction families game for which cards need to be made. This game is a fun way of revising equivalent fractions and of assessing learning.
Pages 2 and 3 provide sheets which allow children to recognise and find halves and quarters of a discrete set of objects.
The idea of a fraction is something that needs to be understood before attempting to perform calculations with fractions. This video demonstrates a method in which children are moved on from working with concrete models of fractions to a more abstract method of adding and subtracting fractions. The method scaffolds children so they visualise the 'concrete' cups when they are performing the calculation.
A useful short video which introduces a real life problem: how to share a pizza between different numbers of people. This could be used as a starter question which leads to further problems in which cakes and chocolate bars are shared out between friends. It always works well bringing in a cake or chocolate bar and asking children to share it equally.
Applying mathematical knowledge within problem solving is often a source of confusion for children. Often they can't understand what is being asked of them, before even starting to use a calculation. This short video presents problems visually and sets them in a realistic context so children can see what is asked before attempting to find a solution. Children could work in twos on whiteboards to solve the problems, before being set similar questions. Pizza party allows Year Three and Four students to practice using fractions to share a pizza out equally and Muddy ears is a puzzle for students in Year Three or Four. They are asked to work out how many lettuces will be left for the gardener after the slugs and birds have eaten some.
When adding fractions with the same denominator children will commonly add the numerator and the denominator. This short video explains clearly why this cannot be correct and goes on to show the correct method using a pictorial representation to aid understanding. The video continues with a series of simple addition and subtraction examples. It is part of a series of videos designed for use by teachers before planning and delivering mathematics lessons. Ideal for those new to the profession or simply wanting a refresher!