Simple Ways to Use Manipulatives to Compare Fractions PART 3

Now that my students were familiar with comparing and ordering fractions, the next step was to introduce the test-prep aspect to the same concept.  It is one thing to be able to show how to compare and order fractions using manipulatives or on a paper with model drawings, it is quite different when you have to do the same but using technology.   I needed my students to be familiar with using virtual fraction strips to compare and order fractions while solving problems in order to prepare for standardized testing in a few months.

A Google Slides Resource

I created a way to compare and order fractions using Google Slides that the students access through Google Classroom.  The Google Slides resource contains 8 problems using the same numerator strategy and same denominator strategy.  Students manipulate objects on the slides (fraction strips) to compare and then order fractions.  There is also a slide to explain each strategy and give examples.  There are also two word problems in which the student applies the strategies.  Finally, students also have an opportunity to practice explaining how to use the strategy as well as, do a self-assessment.

Each slide has directions and has color-coded boxes for clearer instructions about where to drag each object that is either a fraction strip or fraction number.  I also created a Table of Contents slide for quick access to any slide.  The students worked on the slides for about 60 minutes and used it as a review before moving on to equivalent fractions.

Integrating the use of technology to practice math skills is now a necessary part of math instruction, especially for those students who face standardized online testing with SBAC or PARCC.  Sometimes what students learn in the classroom does not immediately transfer to doing the same with on online task.  We as teachers have to be clear that using the technology is not going hinder students ability to show proficiency.  Dragging objects on Google Slides can sometimes be a little tricky, so there is a slide for the students to practice dragging or moving slide objects on a practice page like the one below.

Moving Slide Objects to Compare and Order Fractions

Once the students understand that they will be using the strategies of the same numerator or same denominator and have practice manipulating objects on the slide, they can begin the practice.  During this time, I facilitate and monitor progress by either walking around student to student or by observing from my laptop via Google Classroom.

One important technical aspect of using technology is to know how to "undo" what you just did.  So it is important to teach the students to use the "undo" button in Google Slides in case they accidently resize an object or delete an object.  Some students may have difficulty aligning the objects that they drag around, so I also teach them to use the arrow keys to move objects as it is more accurate.

We as teachers know that during online standardized testing we are not allowed to prompt or coach on any of the questions.  I try to take the same approach with this practice.  If a student is stumped, my typical response is to reread the directions on the slide or to "flag" the slide (make a mental note of it) and move on to the next problem.  If that does not help, then I will help the student with some prompts but remind the student that on the "big test" that is not going to be possible. 

Video Examples!

Watch the video below to see a student ordering fractions on a slide.


I also included word problems so the student could apply the strategy with the types of word problems they might encounter on a test.  I also thought it important that the student be able to explain how to use the strategy in his/her own words so there is a slide for that as well.

Here's another video of a student using same denominator strategy.


Once all the work on the slides is completed, they turn it in via Google Classroom.  I grade each slide as one point and the total will be used as part of their math grade as a classroom assignment.

If you are interested in learning more about Math Resources for Google Slides, check out these resources in my store.

In the meantime, you can also download a FREEBIE SAMPLER for Equivalent Fractions on Google Slides!

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