4th-5th Grade Fractions: Foundations for Operations – CCSS

Students model, draw, explain, solve, justify, and journal to become fluent in the foundations of fraction operations.


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  • Simplify fractions
  • Compare fractions
  • Convert between mixed numbers and improper fractions
  • Find common denominators

Available in English and Spanish


TeachTransform’s 4th-5th Grade Fractions: Foundations for Operations develops the following skills so that students become fluent in fraction operations:

• simplifying fractions
• converting between mixed numbers and fractions larger than 1
• using equivalent fractions to make fractions with common denominators

These skills aren’t specifically spelled out in the CCSS or other standards. Therefore they often aren’t specifically taught until it’s time to teach the operations. Moreover, they are sometimes taught for the first time or reviewed for the first time in that grade whilestudents are learning the operations. Having to remember all the skills at the same time is a huge cognitive load for students, making learning the operations themselves much more difficult.

The activities in 4th & 5th Grade Fractions: Foundations for Operations specifically teach students the foundational skills to be successful in fraction operations, and then provide practice activities for centers and small groups. Once your students have had experience with equivalent fractions in 3rd grade and have reviewed early fraction concepts in 4th grade, use the teaching activities to set the stage for these skills and the practice activities to build fluency. Then when you teach the operations, the foundational skills will be more automatic and students can focus their brains on learning the operations.

Once students are ready to learn the operations, use 4th Grade Fractions: Operations, 5th Grade Fractions: Addition and Subtraction, and 5th Grade Fractions: Multiplication and Division to teach them.

This book includes activities for the whole class, small groups, centers, intervention, and guided math that build the academic language of fractions.

Each activity includes:

  • CCSS
  • Setting Up for Instruction
  • How-To Guide with full teacher directions including questions
  • Thought Extender Questions to help students get ‘unstuck’ and focus on the math concepts
  • Answer Key
  • Content explanations to deepen teacher understanding of fraction concepts
  • Instruction extras to support implementation of instructional strategies

Tutoring & Intervention

4th-5th Grade Fractions: Foundations for Operations activities can be used for Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 instruction in 4th grade and to catch 5th graders up without loss of rigor or time. For example, for 5th graders struggling to simplify fractions after doing the operation, set up centers using Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’. Are 5th graders misremembering the process to change mixed numbers to improper fractions? Use It’s Decomposing so that they rely on the meaning of mixed numbers rather than using a process that’s easily mixed up with other fractions processes.

Instructional Alignment from Grades 2–5

Not only is the content aligned among the grades, but the instructional strategies are too. For students who are “growing up” with TeachTransform’s instructional materials, you can expect them, with a little prompting, to give an answer that includes a why, to use sentences to explain their thinking, to question each other in small groups. This lightens the instructional and cognitive load in each grade and leads to mastery.

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