Fraction War

Fraction Games to be Used in the Classrooms

Materials:

• Deck of Cards
• Pencil
• Paper
• Pencils

Fraction War

Students take turns playing "war" using a deck of cards and a pencil to act as the fraction line. The pair of students must then decide who has the larger fraction based on the four cards played. The winner gets to keep all the cards. Player with most cards at end wins.
Goal: to develop quick comparison of fraction values

Rules:

• Shuffle and deal the cards.
• Each player puts their cards faced down in a pile.
• Both players turn over TWO cards at the same time (one above the pencil and one below).
• The player whose cards has the larger fraction wins all four cards.
• Players may use the paper to figure equivalent fractions or use the Tip Sheet.
• If players turn over equivalent fractions, then there is a fraction war.
• Each player places 2 new cards face down and the 3rd & 4th card face up (one above the pencil and one below).
• Who ever has the higher fraction wins all the cards.
• The game can continue until one player has all the cards or for a given amount of time.

Fraction War Tips and Tricks

• If two fractions have a common denominator, the fraction with the larger numerator is the larger fraction. Ex: 3/5 > 2/5
• If two fractions have a common numerator, the fraction with the smaller denominator is larger. Ex: 1/4 > 1/8
• If you are unsure about which fraction is larger, use the fraction strips to compare.

1. I love this idea! How do you deal with the face cards?

2. You can either treat them as 10’s or J=11, Q=12 K=13. Or simply remove them.

3. Maybe you could leave in a couple face cards and call them “wild”. the kids could assign whatever number they wanted to them. this might further help them understand when they want a big number they assign the numerator a high value and/or the denominator a low value.

4. That is an awesome idea, thanks Bryan for sharing that!

5. This activity can be adapted to differentiated instruction just by taking out or adding certain cards to the deck. For instance, the students that are excelling can get decks that include the face cards and students that are struggling can get decks that have lower number cards or cards that are easy to simplify. I will definitely use this activity in my classroom with differentiated instruction.

6. Better to teach them to use cross products to determine which is larger.

7. Or, for struggling students, give them both the same denominator and just turn over one card for the numerator. Then flip to a common numerator and flip the denominator after it is mastered.

8. Cross multiplying is fine but I prefer my students have some “number sense” and conceptual knowledge about fractions to compare, before I give them tricks. I like the wild card idea for one of the face cards at least, having students think strategically. You can also use the deck of cards to practice adding/subtracting fractions.

9. I just came back to this and glad I did, fantastic suggestions by Heidi and Dawn.

10. Do you have the children lay the cards so that no improper fractions are made e.g. 8/5?

11. All depends on what level they are at. But I would personally start off with not allowing improper fractions.

12. In a classroom or group setting then you could pass out two cards to everyone and then have them to rotate around the room that way everyone helps each other learn.

13. This is such awesome collaboration!!!

14. I thought about letting them use a calculator as a scaffolding tool. However, to encourage them not to use it they would only get 3 of the cards if they had to use a calculator. Just a thought.