This topic covers the basic concepts and terminology of fractions. It consists of 4 lessons that provide an introduction to understanding what a fraction is. A fraction is a number. The numbers represented by fractions have the same properties as whole numbers. That is, some fractions are bigger than other fractions, some are smaller, and some fractions represent the same number (equivalent fractions). In the first two lessons in this series, students come to understand fractions as numbers, which then provides the basis for learning the answers to questions covered later in the series, like: How big is a fraction? Which of two fractions is bigger? How much bigger? How do you add and subtract fractions? How do you multiply and divide fractions?
These lessons represent fractions as distances on a number line rather than concrete objects. The rationale behind this approach is well-established through research and its use is specified in the Common Core State Standards.
This lesson explains the meaning of the bottom number of a fraction. It represents the number of equal-size parts a whole unit is divided into.
In this lesson, students learn what the top number of a fraction means. The top number represents the number of equal-size parts that are counted.
This lesson introduces the names for the top number (numerator) and bottom number (denominator) of a fraction. These labels are not introduced in the initial lessons to reduce the cognitive load students experience in learning the basic concepts of fractions.
This lesson is the last of 4 lessons that provide an introduction to understanding what a fraction is. This lesson covers the terminology for reading and writing fractions in words. Fractions given in numbers are written with words. Fractions given in words are written with numbers.