The trick then is how to make fractions make sense for kids. Many students need concrete materials to understand the concept of fractions. Students need to understand that a fraction really just means a part of a whole. Teachers can introduce the words numerator and demominator, though I think for elementary students the focus should be for them to understand the concept of fractions.
The main point of learning fractions is the it is equal parts of a whole. A good way to demonstrate fractions is to use hands on activities, manipulatives, and many illustrations and drawings. Make connections to fractions with the students. You could put them into groups of eight and have them roll out a circle of playdough the cut it into eight pieces. Then have students tell you what part of the whole or what fraction of the playdough they have, if they each get one piece.
- Use manipulatives, like blocks or triangle pieces of different colors to show different fractions.
- Let students help with recipes, they love to measure and pour ingredients, this is a great time to ask how many 1/4 cups make 1 cup.
- Take regular pieces of paper, then have the students fold it into 8 squares or more, have the students open up the paper and then label each part with the correct fractions.
- Have a fun pizza party
- Use graham crackers to teach 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 whole piece.