Inspiring to Inspire Maths


Fractions of a Number

In our experience, most children struggle to grasp this concept. When we are working with children, we always simplify things as much as possible and move on in 'baby steps'.

It is useful to work on this area alongside fractions of shapes, so that your child can make links between the two. For example, even very young children know that sharing a pizza or cake into 2 gives us half each. Referring back to something you know that your child is sure of and moving into the new idea does, in our experience, help.

When trying to find a fraction of a number the main difficulty children have is knowing how to use the numerator and denominator to help them solve these calculations. In school we found that almost all children knew the terms numerator and denominator, many of them knew which was which but hardly any knew the job they did.

The activity on this video would help your child to become familiar with both the terms and their function.

If you are working on this concept with your child, it's a good idea to start with fractions using a numerator of 1 (unitary fractions) before moving on to other numerators (non-unitary fractions) once your child has 'got it'.

Supporting conceptual understanding using concrete equipment, such as the post-it notes, helps your child to learn effectively.