Fraction fiddle

Display the learning object L2800 Fraction fiddle: tool to the class on an interactive whiteboard (or projector and screen).

Fraction bars with corresponding fractions and a comparative fraction slider.

Screen grab from L2800 Fraction fiddle: tool.
Source: © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2011 

  • Enter a fraction (e.g. \(\frac{1}{3}\)) and discuss how a bar can be constructed to represent that fraction.
  • Point out that the length of the bar is the same as the distance between 0 and 1 on the number line, and so helps to locate the fraction on the number line. The fraction bar acts as a bridge from the typical area model for representing fractions to a linear model.
  • Select another fraction (e.g. \(\frac{1}{4}\)) and ask students to predict what the bar diagram will look like, and where the fraction will be located on the number line. Ask questions such as:
    • Will \(\frac{1}{4}\)be smaller or larger than \(\frac{1}{3}\)?
    • Will \(\frac{1}{4}\) be closer to 1 than \(\frac{1}{3}\)?
  • Emphasise the fact that, together, the numerator and denominator form a number that has a value, and therefore a place on the number line.

Curriculum links

Year 3: Model and represent unit fractions including 1/2, 1/4, 1/3, 1/5 and their multiples to a complete whole

Year 4: Count by quarters halves and thirds, including with mixed numerals. Locate and represent these fractions on a number line

Year 5: Compare and order common unit fractions and locate and represent them on a number line