Activities to Teach Students to Multiply Fractions by Whole Numbers Using Models: Complete the Equation

Multiplying fractions by whole numbers using models is an important concept in mathematics. As we know, fractions are parts of a whole, and multiplying fractions with whole numbers means finding the product of a whole number and a fraction. Using models can be a useful tool to help students understand the concept of multiplying fractions by whole numbers. Here, we will discuss some activities that teachers can use to teach students to multiply fractions by whole numbers using models.

1. Using Rectangles and Grids:

One of the most popular methods for teaching multiplication of fractions by whole numbers using models is the rectangle or grid method. In this method, the rectangle or grid is divided into equal parts. For example, a rectangle or grid can be divided into four or six equal parts, and each part can be represented as a fraction. The grid or rectangle can then be shaded to represent the fraction, such as shading two of the six equal parts to represent 2/6 or 1/3.

To teach students this method, the teacher can provide the students with grids or rectangles, and ask them to shade the appropriate fraction to represent the product. For example, if the question is to find 3 x 1/2, the student would shade half of the rectangle three times. This model helps the students to understand that multiplying 3 by 1/2 is the same as adding 1/2 three times.

2. Using Fraction Circles:

Fraction circles can also be used to teach students about multiplying fractions by whole numbers. Fraction circles are circular discs that are divided into equal parts. For example, a fraction circle can be divided into four, six, or eight equal parts, and each part can be represented as a fraction. These fraction circles can be used to represent fractions as well as whole numbers.

To teach students this method, the teacher can provide the students with fraction circles and ask them to represent the fraction as a whole number, such as four circles representing the whole number four. Then, the students can use another fraction circle to represent a fraction, such as 1/3. The student would then need to find the product of 4 x 1/3, which would be represented by four fraction circles, with one-third of each circle shaded.

3. Using Word Problems:

Word problems are an excellent way to help students connect the real world to mathematical concepts. Teachers can use word problems to teach students how to multiply fractions by whole numbers using models. For example, a teacher could give students a word problem that involves baking cookies. The problem could ask how many cups of sugar are needed to make four batches of cookies, where each batch requires 2/3 cups of sugar.

To solve the problem, the students can use a model, such as a rectangle grid or fraction circles. The student would first represent the whole number four, and then multiply it by the fraction 2/3. In this way, they can visualize the problem and come up with the correct answer.

In conclusion, teaching students to multiply fractions by whole numbers is an essential concept in mathematics. By using models such as grids and fraction circles, students can visualize the concept and understand it better. Teachers can also use word problems to help students connect the mathematical concept to the real world. By incorporating these activities into their lesson plans, teachers can make learning fun and engaging for their students.