7 Fabulous Apps for Teaching Fractions

Currently FREE  – Fractions by Brainingcamp, an excellent educational app for teaching fractions. The app covers 7 topics: introduction to fractions, equivalent fractions, common denominators, comparing/ordering fractions, adding/subtracting fractions, multiplying fractions, and dividing fractions. Each topic includes: a narrated lesson (with visual models), virtual manipulatives for kids to explore, practice questions to check understanding, and a challenging game for additional practice. Kids earn badges as they work through the components of each topic.

WOW – I love everything about this app. The lessons are wonderful. The manipulatives are designed to promote understanding of the concepts presented. The practice questions give students and their teachers a check of their understanding. And, the challenging games helps kids further master the topic. It would be a fabulous for grades 3 and beyond!

Common Core State Standards met:

• 3.NF.1. Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
• 3.NF.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size. Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3).
• 4.NF.3 – a. Understand addition and subtraction of fractions as joining and separating parts referring to the same whole.
• 5.NF.3 – Interpret a fraction as division of the numerator by the denominator (a/b = a ÷ b).

Updated again in March 2014 – Oh No, Fractions! This FREE app just keeps getting better and better because the developer encourages teacher input. How wonderful is that – a developer willing to listen to teachers’ needs!

Oh No Fractions! is a great FREE iPhone/iPad app for comparing and exploring fractions. The educational app is simple to use – kids just swipe to the right or the left to indicate whether one fraction is “greater than” or “less than” or “equal to” a second fraction. As they work, kids can tap above each fraction to see if it can be reduced/simplified – a great feature. But, one of the best features of this app is the “peek”/”prove it” feature. Kids can use a manipulative to “peek” at an answer before they commit to it or they can use the manipulative to “prove” their answer later. This feature is fabulous because it allows the child to visualize his/her answer. Kids can also use this app to practice finding the common denominator. Then they can use it for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions. The app also generates corresponding decimals/percentages for each answer. What a great tool for helping kids to understand fractions!! It’s no wonder that it received the 2013 Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award.

Common Core Standards met:

• 3.NF.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size. Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3).

From the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics comes a FREE app called Equivalent Fractions. Kids create equivalent fractions by dividing and shading squares or circles. Circles can be divided into 24ths. Squares can be divided into 144ths. In the play mode, a fraction is shown and kids must create 2 additional fractions that are equivalent. All 3 fractions must have different denominators. The app also places the fractions on a number line – a great visual for comparing! There is also a “build your own” mode which would be fabulous to use for guided exploration & practice. Kids could also use this section as a virtual manipulative when working independently. This app is an excellent resource for the classroom!

Common Core Standards met:

• 3.NF.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size, or the same point on a number line. Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3). Explain why the fractions are equivalent, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.

Now \$4.99 but was FREE when it was released – Tiny Fractions. This educational app teaches identifying, comparing, ordering, finding equivalents, simplifying, adding, and subtracting fractions using vials of liquid. It starts out simple and gets more difficult as kids progress through the app. It also keeps track of the student’s progress – showing teachers/parents specifically which fractions were missed. Simply done and easy to use, this app does a great job helping kids visualize and learn fractions!

Common Core Standards met:

• 3.NF.1. Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
• 3.NF.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size. Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3).
• 4.NF.3 – a. Understand addition and subtraction of fractions as joining and separating parts referring to the same whole.

From England and currently \$1.99 –  Squeebles Fractions, an app for the iPhone/iPad that is designed to teach fractions to 7 – 11 year olds. The Squeebles want to enter a cake making contest but their ingredients have been stolen by the Math Monster. By working on the app’s 4 games, kids help the Squeebles earn back their ingredients. In Piece of Cake, kids drag the fractional part of a cake to a Squeebles when he asks for it. The easy mode covers halves, fourths, thirds. The hard mode cover fractions to tenths. In Tricky Pairs, kids have to match pairs of equivalent fractions. In the easy mode they match 4 pairs and in the hard mode they match up to 9 pairs. Think Big has kids feeding cake to the Squeeble that calls out the biggest fraction. The easy mode covers halves, fourths, thirds. The hard mode cover fractions to twelfths. Super Sums requires kids to add fractions as quickly as they can and has three levels of difficulty. After earning ingredients, kids can create cakes and enter them in The Cake Show – fun! Another great thing about this app is that you can have more than one player. My only concern is that the easy mode of Piece of Cake requires kids to know some equivalent fractions – for example, it asked kids to pick 3/4 of a cake divided into 8 pieces, 1/3 of a cake divided into 6 pieces, etc. I wish it would have required a basic knowledge of fractions in the easy mode then moved on to equivalent fractions in the hard mode. This app is cute, fun, and provides great practice for a wide spectrum of kids.

Common Core Standards met:

• 3.NF.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size, or the same point on a number line. Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3).
• 4.NF.3 – a. Understand addition and subtraction of fractions as joining and separating parts referring to the same whole.

Currently \$1.99 but often “goes free” – Everyday Mathematics® Equivalent Fractions™  for iPhone/iPad is fun easy way to reinforce fraction concepts. Note: the app uses a digital version of the fraction cards from the Everyday Math third grade book.
Common Core Standards met:

• 3.NF.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size, or the same point on a number line. Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3). Explain why the fractions are equivalent, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.

Currently \$1.99 – Fraction Wall, an app designed for small group or independent learning. This educational app has 4 sections: Teacher Tool, Complete the Wall, 2 Player Game, and Addition. The Teacher Tool can be used to show/discover equivalent fractions or it can be used to answer equivalent fraction problems. Complete the Wall has kids moving bricks on top of equivalent fractions. There are 4 levels: level 1 – halves and quarter; level 2 – halves, thirds, quarters and sixths; level 3 – halves, thirds; quarters fifths, sixths, tenths; level 4 – halves up to tenth. 2 Player Game has kids competing against each other to be the first to fill their wall of equivalent fractions. Addition has kids adding fractions to answer multiple choice questions. There is a clickable wall to help them visualize the answer if needed. This section also has 4 levels. The app can be customized to exclude more difficult fractions from the wall. This app would work well in the classroom – great for practicing and/or for using as a tool to visualize answers. Much more fun than a worksheet for practicing fractions!

Common Core Standards met:

• 3.NF.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size. Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3).