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Fractions of a shape (Year 2)

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In Year 2, we have been learning to recognise half, quarter or three quarters of a shape as well as find a fraction of a number or an amount.

Fractions

When we write a fraction, there is a numerator and a denominator

Numerator

The numerator is the number of parts we are thinking about; for example, the number of parts shaded or the number of parts missing.

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The denominator is the number of parts in total. Remember, just because the denominator is a bigger number, it does not mean it is a bigger fraction. For example, 1/4 is not bigger than 1/2 because 4 is a bigger number than 2.

Look at the examples below. How many parts have the shapes been split into? The answer will be the denominator in your fraction. 

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Recognising equal parts

When you start exploring fractions, it is important that you recognise equal and unequal parts.  

Look at the pictures below.  

  • What is the whole? What are the parts?
  • How many parts is the shape split into?
  • Are all the parts equal? How do you know?
  • Is there more than one way to split the shape into equal parts?

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Half

When you divide a shape into two equal parts, each part is called a half. Two halves make a whole. In the fraction 1/2, 1 represents the number of parts shaded and the 2 represents the total number of parts. 

Look at the shapes below. 

  • How many equal parts has the shape been split into?
  • Which pictures show 1/2?

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Challenge 1

Which is the odd one out? Can you explain your answer?

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Challenge 2

Miss Coverdale says the shaded parts of the shape do not show a half because there are 4 parts and not 2 equal parts. Do you agree? Explain why. 

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Quarters 

When you divide a shape into four equal parts, each part is called a quarter. Remember, four quarters make a whole. 

Look at the shapes below.

  • Which shapes do not have a quarter shaded? How do you know?
  • Can you draw the shapes again and split them into quarters correctly?

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Challenge 1

Is a 1/4 of this shape shaded? Explain your answer.

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Challenge 2

Using two identical strips of paper, what happens when you fold the strips into two equal parts and four equal parts? What do you notice?

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Challenge 3

Using what you know about the numerator and the denominator, can you colour in 3/4 of each shape? Remember, the numerator is the number of parts we are thinking about; for example, 3 parts that are shaded. 

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