Fractions - short mental activities

Use these short mental activities to develop pupils’ confidence in using the language of fractions. This will support progress from additive to multiplicative thinking where fractions are used as operators.

Why use these mental activities?
To provide frequent, regular opportunities that refresh and refine pupils’ mental skills in using fractions as part of proportional reasoning.

Four sets of teaching activities:

1. Fraction tables
Organise the whole class to chant fraction tables in different forms. This develops fluency and reinforces understanding. Use the three linked activities individually or in sequence:
- Multiples of a fraction
- Same fraction of different numbers
- Different fractions of the same number

2. Comparing quantities
Use these questions to compare numbers and quantities using proportions less than and greater than 1 to develop flexibility in using proper and improper fractions in calculations.

3. Calculator quick
Use this activity to give pupils a context in which to apply the commutativity of fraction multiplication and to compare solutions in a class or group discussion.

4. About
Use the context of scaling to support pupils to apply commutativity of fraction multiplication to make approximations.

What else is available?
You will find further information to establish secure foundations to the understanding of fractions in ‘What is a fraction?’.