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Comparing Fractions Using Google Slides and Virtual Manipulatives

Build conceptual understanding of comparing fractions using Google Slides.

After familiarizing my students with comparing and ordering fractions with the fraction strips, the next step is to have them comparing fractions using virtual fraction strips.  It is one thing to be able to compare fractions using real manipulatives or on a paper with drawings.  It is quite a different thing to do the same on a computer screen, especially now during distance learning.

I also thought it essential my students be familiar with using virtual fraction strips to compare fractions to solve problems in preparation for online state testing. But now the need is for distance learning resources!

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Comparing Fractions using a Google Slides Resource

So that’s why I created a way for students to compare fractions using a Google Slides digital notebook. Initially, the Google Slides resource contained eight problems using the two strategies: the same denominator strategy or the same numerator strategy.  Students manipulated objects on the slides (virtual fraction strips) to compare and then order fractions.

Cover for digital notebook for Comparing Fractions

I’m excited to announce this resource has been completely updated! The resource now has 3 embedded tutorial videos for developing a conceptual understanding of how to compare fractions.

In the original digital notebook, there was a slide to explain each strategy with examples. The original slide is below. Students could practice this with physical fraction strips as well. With in-person instruction, I could guide, monitor, and continue to build conceptual understanding with physical manipulatives. But distance learning has changed everything!

Strategy guide for same denominator strategy

Using Multimedia to enhance Google Slides

I decided to change the slide above to a tutorial video. There are now three tutorial videos embedded into the Google Slides digital notebook. The videos build an understanding of each of the strategies. Each video also has audio narration!

Embedded video of the Google Slides Digital Notebook

The three embedded ORIGINAL videos I created explain comparing fractions to benchmark fractions, comparing fractions with the same denominator, and comparing fractions with a different denominator.

If you are in a distance-learning or hybrid model of learning, these embedded videos will support your math lessons for comparing fractions. They are also a resource your students can review and view as many times as needed!

After watching and learning from the video, students begin some practice. In the example below, students drag the virtual fraction strips to compare one fraction to the benchmark fraction of one-half. They use math (numbers and symbols) to show the relationship.

Students drag virtual fraction strips to compare fractions on Google Slides

Taking Comparing of Fractions to the Next Level

Since I knew many students could be using this digital notebook on their own, I didn’t want it to be only about procedures and practice. I wanted students to reason and think when comparing fractions using this Google Slides resource.

So I included some mathematical reasoning slides. Students now will get the opportunity to do the following

  • Notice and Wonder
  • Decide Which One Doesn’t Belong
  • Solve a multi-step problem
  • Decide and defend an argument
Notice and Wonder Fraction Activity

Using a real-life context, students notice and wonder about the relationships of the fractional lengths of objects.

Students read 2 arguments and decide who is correct and defend it.

Using a real-life context, students read the reasoning of two students. Then, the student decides who is correct and defends it.

Integrating Technology with Math Instruction

Integrating technology to practice math skills is now a necessary part of math instruction.  Especially for those students who face standardized online testing.  But especially now with distance learning. But sometimes what students learn in the classroom does not immediately transfer to doing the same with an online task.

We, as teachers, have to be clear that using the technology is not going to hinder a student’s ability to show proficiency.  Dragging objects on Google Slides can sometimes be a little tricky. Consequently, I’ve included a slide to explain how to drag objects, typing in a text box, and playing and controlling the videos.

Instruction slide for students.

Additionally, the Speaker or Presenter’s Notes at the bottom of each slide give additional directions and support to the student.

Equity and Support for all of our Students

Another important update to this Comparing Fractions on Google Slides digital notebook, is supporting all learners, especially now with distance learning. Included with the support materials for the teacher is a comprehensive list of ways to help English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.

Most, if not all, of the suggestions, can be used for hybrid or distance learning situations. They are all applicable to in-person instruction.

Video Examples of Students Using the Google Slides Resource

Watch the video below to see a student comparing fractions using Google Slides. The video shows the previous version, but it will give you an idea.

Here’s another video of a student comparing fractions using Google Slides using the same denominator strategy with the previous version.

In the last part of this digital notebook for Comparing Fractions on Google Slides, students self assess their understanding of how to compare fractions. They also write down any questions or confusion. Students turn in the completed slides via Google Classroom.  I grade each slide at one point (I’ve included scoring guide and scoring sheets in the resource).

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

comparing fractions using Google Slides resources

New Comparing Fractions Resources!

I have been working on an extensive Comparing Fractions PowerPoint. It’s now available in my store! It has 90 slides in 6 parts.  Check out what’s included! Even if you don’t have PowerPoint, you can still show this PowerPoint to students using Microsoft’s FREE online PowerPoint player. All you need is a FREE Microsoft email account. Additionally, the mobile or tablet versions of PowerPoint are FREE for download for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

New Resource Added!

Students in 3rd and 4th grade can practice comparing fractions using an area model, length model, and number lines with this
self-checking Google Slides game.
Additionally, students solve word problems by comparing fractions.
Discover and learn more about this fun game!

Did you miss Part 1 or Part 2?

Also, check out How I Taught Equivalent Fractions.

Cover for How I Taught Equivalent Fractions

Don’t Go Yet!

Sign up for my newsletter to receive the Comparing Fractions Resource Poster for FREE! The poster includes three essential strategies for comparing fractions: using benchmarks, comparing the same denominators, comparing different denominators.

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