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Felt Fraction Common Denominators
Grade Level(s): 3-5, 6-8
By: Upsadaisy

Use of felt fraction shapes to demonstrate the concept of common denominators. (Grades 5-6)


  1. Students will demonstrate awareness of the concept of fraction equivalencies and common denominators.
  2. Students will correctly write addition equations which represent demonstrated felt board equations.


Felt board
geometric felt board shapes
chalk board or white board


  1. Display the fractional piece ½ next to the fractional piece 1/6.

  2. What would you call the fractional part which is the sum of these two pieces?

  3. Take guesses and restate the appropriate equations.
    So, ½ + 1/6 = ______?

  4. Conclude that there is no name for the equation.

  5. Demonstrate the equivalency 3/6 = ½ by laying the 1/6 fractions over the ½ piece.

  6. How many 1/6’s are there in ½ ? (3)

  7. Okay, 3/6 = ½. Write equation on the board.

  8. Now we need one more 1/6 piece to add to the 1/2.

  9. How many 1/6’s do we have in all now? (4)

  10. Does this mean that ½ + 1/6 = 4/6 ? (yes)

  11. Write equation on the board.

  12. Conclude: We express the sum of ½ and 1/6 as a fraction with 6 in the denominator.

  13. Provide felt shapes and have students demonstrate equivalencies and sums.

  14. Ask students to write on paper the correct equations for the demonstrated fraction equivalencies and sums.


I used a standard set of geometric felt board shapes.


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