Reviewing Fractions in Middle School Throughout the School Year

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A Quick Way to Practice Fraction Concepts Any Time of Year

reviewing fractions all year

​I have a quick way for you to continually review various fraction concepts in middle school math throughout the entire school year!

That way is……….use partner cards or grouping cards whenever you’d like to have students work together in random partners or groups.

Before we get into the specifics of the grouping cards, let’s just touch on grouping strategies for a moment and why I’ve created grouping cards for randomized grouping.


Grouping Strategies

In the book, Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics by Peter Liljedahl, he talks about the types of grouping strategies teachers might use: 

  • grouping homogeneously
  • grouping stronger students with weaker students
  • grouping and giving students particular roles in the group
  • allowing students to self-select their groups

Through their studies, he observed that 80% of students entered these types of groups feeling like they were going to be a follower rather than a thinker. He asserts that whether students are strategically placed in a group or they self-select, they know why they’re with the other students and they meet the expectations of that grouping (or as he puts it, they “…live down to these expectations.”)

So, rather than strategic grouping or allowing students to self-select, the author recommends randomized grouping – more specifically, visibly randomized grouping, so students can see that the groups are truly random….not the teacher saying they were random.

If you want to read more about grouping ideas, and haven’t already read this one, check it out – Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics.

Partner Cards or Grouping Cards to Keep Reviewing Fractions in Middle School

Ok, on to the actual grouping cards idea.​I know there might be some more ‘fun’ ways to group students, but I like to throw some content into the grouping process, just to use the grouping time a little more effectively. Why not use it to review concepts?

I did this with equivalent expressions a few years back, and it was quite helpful – using the grouping cards gave students additional practice several times during the year.

​I’ve got three different sets of partner/grouping cards (which you can access below), to help students review fraction concepts.

Reviewing Fractions in Middle School: Equivalent Fractions

reviewing fractions equivalent fractions partner cards

This set of partner cards has 16 sets of 2 equivalent fractions, to randomly pair students. Just cut them, laminate (or print on card stock), and then hand them out.

Example:

  • ​students who have 4/5 and 16/20 are partners
  • students who have 3/10 and 9/30 are partners. 

You can use these any time of year, but you might choose to use them when you’re working with similar concepts, like equivalent ratios. One teacher mentioned she was going to use them for equivalent slopes!


Reviewing Fractions in Middle School: Fraction Representations​

fraction representation grouping cards

To review fraction representations, you can use these grouping cards that have fractions shown in four different ways:

  • fraction bar/strip 
  • fraction as a number 
  • fraction on the number line 
  • fraction of a shape

Students find the other students with the same fraction represented, and they have their group.

  • These cards can be used to create groups of 2, 3, or 4.

When I made this set of grouping cards, I did repeat numerators, so students wouldn’t just look for a 3 or a 4, etc. In the picture, you can see there are cards with 3/8 and 3/9, so students have to look at their grouping cards carefully.


Reviewing Fractions: Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions

mixed number and improper fraction grouping cards

These grouping cards have one improper fraction (fraction greater than one), and three mixed numbers that are equivalent to it, so students can review the various ways the numbers can be expressed.

For these, I used the same denominators for different sets, so students can’t just look at the denominator (like 4, in the picture) to find their group.   


Access the Fraction Partner Cards/Grouping Cards

So that’s it!
To sum up – you can use the partner cards/grouping cards ANY time throughout the year to keep reviewing fractions in middle school (fraction vocabulary, basic fraction concepts, fraction operations, etc) throughout the school year.
AND (added bonus)…you can use the cards as a matching activity in centers as well!
You can grab these sets of grouping cards for free (along with 5 or 6 other free fraction resources) when you join my email community. Just select the button below!

If you’re already part of my community, you can grab these from the free resource library here on the site. You should already have the password for that, but if you can’t find it, send me an email and let me know!

Interested in more fraction ideas and fraction operation content?
Check out the program, Fractions: From Foundations to Operations.

Ellie

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Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!

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