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Introduction to adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators

  • Year group: Year 5
  • Term: Spring
  • Topic: Fractions
  • Duration: 1 weeks
  • Keystage: KS2
  • Age Range: 9 to 10 yrs
  • Unit can be taught out of sequence: N
  • Week Range: 6

In this chapter, pupils continue to practise counting forwards and backwards in simple fractions. 

Pupils should recognise and describe linear number sequences (eg, 3, 31⁄2, 4, 41⁄2...), including those involving fractions, and find the term-to-term rule in words (eg, add 1⁄2).

They use their understanding of equivalent fractions to add and subtract fractions with the same denominator and denominators that are multiples of the same number. They extend their understanding of adding and subtracting fractions to include calculations that exceed 1 as a mixed number.

 Download all fractions chapters as a PDF 

Resources for this topic

White Rose Maths

Adding & subtracting fractions

A resource that gives a clear example of how to add fractions with different denominators in a visual way.
By WRMaths

Mathematics Mastery

Introduction to adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators

Developing pupils’ problem solving skills is a key element of the Mathematics Mastery programme.

This task sheet focuses on introduction to adding and subtracting fractions with different denominatorsand can be used in two ways. 1. To support parents with their child(ren)’s learning at home, helping them to develop their mathematical understanding beyond the classroom environment. 2. For teachers to use this resource as a basis for a classroom activity, helping pupils to practise and consolidate their understanding.

• Each task is accompanied by guidance to support parents with concepts and methods they may be less familiar with
• For the classroom, you can introduce this as an independent task or in mixed attainment pairs to encourage mathematical discussion

Like what you see?

Mathematics Mastery is a professional development programme for teachers with a mission to transform mathematics education in the UK.

This task is just a taster of the complete classroom resources we offer. We also provide in-depth development training, online CPD, specialist support and assessment tools.

We believe all elements of our programme are vital in creating lasting change – enabling every child to enjoy and succeed in mathematics.

Want to find out more? Check out our free resources and blogs or join an information session.
By Mathematics Mastery

Introduction to adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators

Mathematical discussion is a key element of the Mathematics Mastery programme.

Talk Tasks are a brilliant way of enabling pupils to develop their mathematical language, thinking, understanding and confidence.

This activity explores the concept of adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators.

• Talk tasks are best completed in mixed attainment pairs, with pupils taking turns to listen and construct arguments
• Emphasis is on discussion rather than the solution, encouraging pupils to use key language and talk in full sentences
• Ask pupils to prove their answers in a variety of ways, using the CPA approach to support mathematical understanding and number sense

Like what you see? Mathematics Mastery is a professional development programme for teachers with a mission to transform mathematics education in the UK.

This task is just a taster of the complete classroom resources we offer. We also provide in-depth development training, online CPD, specialist support and assessment tools.

We believe all elements of our programme are vital in creating lasting change – enabling every child to enjoy and succeed in mathematics.

Want to find out more? Check out our free resources and blogs or join an information session.
By Mathematics Mastery

Resources shared by teachers

Year 5 Fractions Week 4

This is pack 1 of 6 on Year 5 Fractions and covers equivalent fractions and converting improper fractions to mixed numbers. The resources aim to help children gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered in the first week. Fractions are represented in a variety of ways and lend themselves well for use alongside concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations.

The resources include pictorial and abstract representations as well as reasoning and problem solving activities and more open ended problems to support and extend your whole class.

I hope you find them useful.
By hen1000

Year 5 Fractions Week 5

This is pack 2 of 6 on Year 5 Fractions and covers converting mixed numbers to improper fractions, number sequences and comparing and ordering fractions. The resources aim to help children gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered in the second week. Fractions are represented in a variety of ways and lend themselves well for use alongside concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations.

The resources include pictorial and abstract representations as well as reasoning and problem solving activities and more open ended problems to support and extend your whole class.

I hope you find them useful.
By hen1000

Year 5 Fractions Week 6

This is pack 3 of 6 on Year 5 Fractions and covers comparing and ordering fractions, investigating equivalent fractions and adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator. The resources aim to help children gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered in the third week. Fractions are represented in a variety of ways and lend themselves well for use alongside concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations.

The resources include pictorial and abstract representations as well as reasoning and problem solving activities and more open ended problems to support and extend your whole class.

I hope you find them useful.
By hen1000

Year 5 Fractions Week 7

This is pack 4 of 6 on Year 5 Fractions and covers adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. The resources aim to help children gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered in the fourth week. Fractions are represented in a variety of ways and lend themselves well for use alongside concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations.

The resources include pictorial and abstract representations as well as reasoning and problem solving activities and more open ended problems to support and extend your whole class.

I hope you find them useful.
By hen1000

Year 5 Fractions Week 8

This is pack 5 of 6 on Year 5 Fractions and covers subtracting fractions and multiplying fractions. The resources aim to help children gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered in the fifth week. Fractions are represented in a variety of ways and lend themselves well for use alongside concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations.

The resources include pictorial and abstract representations as well as reasoning and problem solving activities and more open ended problems to support and extend your whole class.

I hope you find them useful.
By hen1000

Year 5 Fractions Week 9

This is pack 6 of 6 on Year 5 Fractions and covers multiplying fractions, fractions of an amount and an end of unit assessment. The resources aim to help children gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered in the first week. Fractions are represented in a variety of ways and lend themselves well for use alongside concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations.

The resources include pictorial and abstract representations as well as reasoning and problem solving activities and more open ended problems to support and extend your whole class.

I hope you find them useful.
By hen1000

Year 5 Fractions

This is a complete bundle for Year 5 fractions covering all the Year 5 objectives for fractions. The resources aim to help children gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered and adopt a mastery maths approach.

Fractions are represented in a variety of ways and lend themselves well for use alongside concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations.

The resources also include a range of reasoning and problem solving activities and more open ended problems to support and extend your whole class.

I hope you find them useful.
By hen1000

Fractions - adding using diagrams

Shade diagrams to add fractions. Fractions without common denominators. First 5 when in same times table, then 3 in different tables. These diagrams pre-drawn and not explained; plus seven questions where pupils need to draw diagrams in their own books.

(Assumes the general idea is already familiar from earlier in curriculum, but you may wish to discuss common denominators and equivalent fractions before they go on to drawing their own diagrams.)
By Neil Adam

Intro to Fractions using LEGO

This is a Smart Notebook file and a series of worksheets that I put together when introducing fractions to a low ability Yr7 class.
The sheets progress from colouring fractions of a brick up to adding fractions with different denominators.
There is also a Fraction wall showing how the different skills build on each other to reach the highest levels.
These sheets work well with physical LEGO to support them.
By Dazmundo

Adding and Subtracting Fractions

A sheet where students can pick the section on which they need more work (self-differentiated no less). Ranges from plain old fractions, through functional plain old fractions, through mixed numbers through functional mixed numbers. No bells, whistles, anything like that, just a load of questions. I have added a 'Prove It' sheet so that the class can show you what they can now do.
By alutwyche