TES Maths ROTW: Fractions investigation

Craig Barton
18th April 2016

TES Maths Resource of the Week

Resource title: Fractions investigation

Resource author: Namragus

What is it?

One of the greatest clichés is that the simplest things in life are the best. Well, if this resource is anything to go by, it is very true.

From such a basic hook – draw two straight lines across a rectangle and work out the size of the fractions you create – can come a whole host of fun, engaging and challenging investigations.

How can it be used?

Any of you who have used the activities in my rich maths resources will know that I am a huge fan of a simple set-up, which is then followed by interesting questions and probing lines of enquiry.

So, once the students have created a few fractions, try asking questions along these lines to develop their understanding:

What is the smallest fraction you can make? How about the largest?

How many of the different denominators between one and ten can you make? How many of the different numerators between one and five can you make?

How many different ways can you slit the shape into halves? How many different ways can you create a quarter?

How many different ways can you create two equal fractions? What about if you could use three lines?

What about if the rectangle has more dots around the outside? What if the rectangle was divided into equal sections?


Craig Barton

Craig is a secondary maths teacher in the North of England.


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