Fraction bars are the first step that young learners see when being introduced to fractions. Sometimes, seeing a ¾ or a ⅓ may get confusing. Instead, a visual representation of a fraction with a fraction bar helps them to understand what a fraction is.
Let’s take a look at a simple fraction bar:
This fraction bar represents ¾
The shaded portion is what the numerator value is, and the total of the fraction bar represents the denominator value.
A numerator is the number on the top of a fraction. In the case of ¾, the numerator would be 3.
A denominator is the number on the bottom of a fraction. In the case of ¾, the denominator would be 4.
Numerators and denominators can still be somewhat confusing concepts. To help your child understand numerators and denominators better, it’s good to put it into a real-world example.
Let’s say this fraction bar is actually a candy bar. There are two parts of this candy bar:
The shaded portion represents how much we are going to share (the numerator), and the white part represents how many pieces of the candy bar there are in all (the denominator).
You can use a few exercises to help your child understand fractions with this example.
You can ask your child: how many pieces of the candy bar are going to be shared? They can count the shaded boxes to find out.
You can ask your child: how many pieces of the candy bar will be left? They can count the white boxes to find out.
You can ask your child: how many pieces of candy are there in all? They can count all of the boxes to find out.
Try it out with your child! Download the printable worksheet below.