As a middle school math teacher, one of my biggest regrets as I moved through the school year, was that I didn’t spend enough time reviewing fractions. The pressure to move on quickly to cover middle school math standards, forced me to move on before my students had a firm foundation in fractions. Yes, this is a 4th and 5th grade skill. But how many of our students truly understand fraction concepts before they enter middle school? Statistics show that those students who have a solid understanding of fractions in the 5th grade, are predicted to succeed in later math classes regardless of other math skills. My middle school students could not possibly move into integers, algebra, ratios, and geometry without a solid understanding of fraction operations.

**Fractions are Difficult to Master**

In a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, statistics showed only half of all eighth graders could order 3 fractions from smallest to largest. As crucial as this skill is in everyday life, my students would typically groan when I introduced any lesson that involved fractions. But my job was to make sure they had a solid understanding, so they could achieve success down the road in algebra, chemistry, physics, and statistics.

Adding and subtracting fractions are particularly difficult to master. Students need to know how to find a common denominator, calculate equivalent fractions, add or subtract, and then simplify their answers. Many young students are not ready for this multi-step approach to problem solving. And so we start with math manipulatives to give students a visual example of how and why fractions work. This must still continue into middle school in order to give students that solid understanding. Moving on to more difficult math concepts must simultaneously include this critical review.

**Fractions in the Real World**

Students often ask me why they need to know this. My response is to show them the myriad ways they will use fractions in real life. Cooking is one of the obvious skills in which fractions are commonly used. Measurement of ingredients is commonly in fractional amounts. We may also need to cut a recipe in 1/2, or double or triple a recipe to serve more guests. If you do even minor carpentry you will need to measure in exact amounts, often involving fractions. How do you figure the price of an item on sale, or figure a 15 or 20 percent tip to a server? Involvement in sports may require fractions. How much is 1/2 a mile, 1/4 of a mile? How do you measure the length of a long jump, or a softball throw? Every one of us will need a basic understanding of fractions.

**Review with Number Lines**

Math manipulatives with colorful fractions pieces are important in helping students visualize fractions. Another important method for review is with number lines. Take a few minutes at the beginning of math class to have students place index cards with various fractions in the correct location on a number line. Students enjoy getting out of their seats and trying to predict the correct placement of their cards. I use a clothesline placed across a wall and add clothespins for students to attach their fractions. Taking a few minutes to review the correct placement of their fractions is a valuable tool in classroom review. Have other students (kindly) evaluate whether the cards are placed correctly, and why. As students move into 7th and 8th grade, you can also add negative fractions on the number line.

**Make the Review Fun with Number Chips**

Using number chips will engage your students and give them a boost when they begin to struggle. Students can move the colorful chips around the screen. Every number chip they need is available on each slide. Student know what numbers they need to use, and just need to figure out where each one should be placed. Numbers are inserted into the numerator or denominator, and because students know what numbers to use, it reduces anxiety for solving these fraction problems. Lessons also include puzzles, riddles, drag and drop, and matching activities. Why not make fractions review fun?

**Take the Time**

Regardless of whether we are being pressured to move forward quickly into grade level content, teachers know how important it is to make sure students are ready. If we don’t slow down and take the time to review, those grade level standards will not be mastered. Take the time to review!

**Look at these Digital Fraction Lessons Review**

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Click on the following Links:

**Adding and Subtracting with Like Denominators**

**Multiplying Fractions**

**Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions**

**Equivalent Fractions**

**Adding and Subtracting with Unlike Denominators**

**Dividing Fractions**

**All Six Digital Lessons plus 13 printable worksheets**

**13 Printable Fraction Worksheets**

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/13-Fraction-Worksheets-Printable-8428160