A fraction wall is a visual representation to help students learn, compare and identify fractions set out as a wall. This is a great way to help students understand the basics of fractions.
As a strand unit in the Irish primary maths curriculum, fractions can’t be avoided, although many children find them challenging. Tools such as the fraction wall can help children visualize what fractions are, the relationship they have with each other, and the link between fractions, multiplication, and division, which will give them a solid foundation as they move forward.
How do I use a Fraction Wall?
A fraction wall’s first layer of ‘bricks’ is one long brick labeled ‘1’. Next, the second layer of ‘bricks’ is split into two bricks, labeled ‘1/2’. This continues down the fraction wall, each layer divided into the next fraction. It can help students identify equivalent fractions and common denominators.
How can Children Benefit from Using a Fraction Wall?
As a vital element of the primary curriculum in Ireland, learning fractions at primary school is the key to moving on to more complicated forms of mathematics in the junior cycle and beyond. So it’s important to teach this information in a way that children will understand and remember.
If you place a fraction wall up on the wall in your classroom or learning space, then children can refer to it throughout their lessons. As a visual aid, fraction walls can help children make associations between pieces of information, quickly absorb new ideas, and help them retain the information.
A fraction wall can be useful for children in the 3rd and 4th classes who are starting to learn to identify fractions with denominators up to 12. It can help them order and compare fractions, understand the relationship between fractions and division and calculate a unit fraction of a number in line with curriculum aims.
For children in the 5th and 6th classes, fraction walls can be a great reference tool for consolidating and revising what they have learned. In addition, it can help them identify equivalent fractions and act as a useful tool as they move on to more complex operations, such as multiplication and division of numbers using fractions.
Examples of Questions that a Fraction Wall Can Help With:
What fractions are equivalent to 3/4?
How many times does 1/10 fit into 1/2?
How else could you write 1/4?