# Fraction Tower Cubes

## Fraction Towers

#### EXPAND THE POSSIBILITIES OF TEACHING FRACTIONS AND EQUIVALENCY

Fraction Tower Cubes are interlocking cubes that enable students to explore fractions, fractional equivalences, add and subtract fractions, work with mixed numbers, and more. Use them separately or together to conduct explorations of fractional values by interlocking and comparing cubes.

#### SKILLS

- Add and Subtract Fractions
- Equivalences
- Mixed Numbers
- Comparing Fractions
- Common Denominators
- Dividing Fractions
- Ratios

## Learning About Fraction Tower Cubes

Fraction Tower Cubes represent different fractions for instructive comparison. You can expand the possibilities of teaching fractions and equivalency with these proportionally sized cubes. Teach students how to compare and construct fractions, work with mixed numbers, and add/subtract fractions with like and unlike denominators.

Students should be given the opportunity to become comfortable and familiar with Fraction Tower Cubes by creatively manipulating them. Encourage students to use the cubes to create patterns and designs. Challenge students to talk about the Fraction Tower Cubes and how they relate to one another.

Rainbow Fraction® Tower Cubes represent different fractions for instructive comparison. Rainbow Fraction Tower Cubes represent a whole, halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths, and twelfths. Each tile is broken into equal fractional parts and uses the same-sized whole.

Visually show students fraction equivalents and teach them about the relationships between fractional parts of the same whole and how to compare and construct fractions.

Get students familiar with how fractions are named and with the terms numerator and denominator. A fraction is represented as a number above and a number below a line segment or slanted segment. The top number is called the numerator and the bottom number is called the denominator. The numerator tells how many equal parts of a whole you have, while the denominator tells how many of these equal parts are needed to create a whole.

Relate fractions to a whole unit by exploring and naming the number of fractions needed to create one unit tower. Compare and order fractions by having student explore less than and greater than by comparing the relative size of the cubes. Show equivalent fractions by recognizing and creating equivalent fractions. Explore improper fractions and mixed numbers and learn to recognize and create equivalent fractions. Model different operations involving fractions by exploring fraction division by finding 1/2 of a given fraction and much more.

Explore equivalencies by placing a cube that represents 1/2. Find 2 cubes that represent 1/4. Notice that the 2, 1/4 pieces represent the same part of a whole as 1/2, so 1/2 and 2/4 are equivalent. Experiment with other colors to find more fractions that are equivalent to 1/2. Students can explore the many possibilities for creating parts of a tower with the Fraction Tower Cubes.

## Subtracting Mixed Numbers Using Common Denominators

Students model subtraction with mixed numbers. They find a common denominator and use Fraction Tower Cubes to find one and model it. After finding a common denominator students can subtract the numbers more easily.

## Lessons

### Intermediate Grade Activities (3rd to 5th)

Here are activities for getting to know Fraction Tiles and beginning to use them to learn and understand the math they represent.

Activity | Curriculum Strands | Topics |
---|---|---|

Fraction Addition and Subtraction
Students add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators. ## Source: Hands-On Standards Grade 5 Teacher Guide |
Fractions |
Add & subtract fractions |

Subtract Mixed Numbers
Students have performed addition and subtraction with fractions, and they have added mixed numbers. They round out their experience with these concepts by learning to subtract with mixed numbers. The number sense that students build in these activities will serve them when they multiply with fractions. ## Source: Hands-On Standards Grade 5 Teacher Guide |
Fractions |
Add & subtract fractions Subtract mixed numbers |