# From the Editors – brushing up on fractions?

As Year 6 teachers will be very aware, SATs are now only a few weeks away. With fraction questions appearing frequently in past KS2 SATs papers, MyMaths Editor Claire takes a look at some lessons with strong visual elements that you can use to help your pupils build confidence in working with fractions.

**Adding and subtracting with different denominators**

The lesson ‘Equivalent fractions 3’ starts by recapping how to convert a fraction to a decimal when the fraction’s denominator is 10, 100 or 1000. It then builds on this knowledge to explore other fractions’ relationships with decimals, and shows children how to use this method to compare fractions with different denominators.

Then the lesson goes on to demonstrate how to work out fraction problems by finding the lowest common multiple. Each method covered in the lesson is followed by examples for children to work through to consolidate their learning. Finally, the lesson takes children through the extra steps needed to add fractions to mixed numbers with different denominators:

By setting your pupils the homework that matches this lesson and checking the results section of the Assessment Manager, you can quickly assess if any children need some targeted practice in either converting fractions to decimals (covered in question 1) or in adding and subtracting unlike fractions by finding the lowest common multiple (covered in question 2).

*Find this lesson on MyMaths by searching for ‘Equivalent fractions 3’ in the Library.*

**Using bar models to find equivalent fractions**

As well as containing a host of lessons that cover fraction topics with more traditional methods, MyMaths has a series of visually rich bar model fraction lessons. For example, let’s take a look at ‘Comparing fractions 2 – bar model’.

The lesson begins by reminding pupils of how to use a bar model to represent a simple fraction (starting with quarters) before going on to show how using multiple bar models enables us to compare and order fractions. As is typical in MyMaths lessons, teaching pages are followed by practice pages to encourage children to really embed each stage of learning before moving on to the next teaching page.

As the lesson progresses, children are encouraged to apply their learning to word problems, which is useful preparation for the style of questions in the Reasoning papers:

To try this lesson for free, click the image. Please note, at the time of writing Adobe Flash Player is required to run this particular lesson. |

*Find this lesson on MyMaths by searching for ‘Comparing fractions 2 – bar model’ in the Library.*

**Back to decimal basics**

Do any of your pupils need to recap the relationship between fractions and decimals? ‘Fraction and decimal equivalents’ is a lesson that contains clear visual representations and many opportunities to practise comparing fractions and decimals (for quarters, tenths and hundredths). By going through this lesson in the run up to the national tests, hopefully your pupils will feel confidently grounded in the relationship between fractions and decimals, and how to compare them.

With their clear explanations and randomised questions, our lessons can be used as a front of class tool or during independent study to introduce new topics or to practise known topics. In each case, there is a matched homework to provide formative assessment information.

To find out which lessons and homework activities support a particular objective in your curriculum, take a look at our matching charts on the MyMaths support site.

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