Fractions Matching: TES Maths Resource of the Week

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What is it?
Fractions are a thorn in the side of many a young mathematician. Students first encounter them early on in primary school, but they continue to induce nightmares all the way through to GCSEs. Students clearly need regular exposure and practice of the key concepts, but this can be difficult to do in a way that engages students and really causes them to think hard. Thankfully, one of the best all time maths resources authors in the whole wide world may well have the answer. This Fractions Matching series of activities may look straight forward – students essentially have to match questions with answers – but it is the careful selection of questions that is the key to its brilliance. Many of the questions look pretty similar, with only one thing different. This helps fix studentsâ€™; attention on the thing that has changed and the effect it has on the answer, making it less likely students will cruise through on auto-pilot, and k,ore likely they will engage their brains and focus on the critical aspects of the question.

How can it be used?
All the key fractions skills are covered here, from equivalence and fractions of an amount, right through to all four operations. With fractions being such a troublesome topic, and also creeping their way into some pretty hefty algebraic topics (solving equations and algebraic fractions to name two), it is important that students are regularly exposed to this kind of beautifully designed activity. Hence, I would be tempted to use one of these a week. They could be printed out, or simply projected up on the board for a relatively speedy activity. And once students have finished, there is always the opportunity for them to create their own versions, with an emphasis on making the questions as similar as possible, to once again draw their attention to the critical features. This is a superb resource.

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton