The word “fractions” can immediately strike up fear in any elementary teacher or student. The topic has been very misunderstood because of preconceived notions that students will never really understand it, so fractions were never really given a fair chance to be understood through conceptual and hands-on teaching. With the new Oklahoma Academic Standards, it is the one concept for elementary grades that has raised in rigor the most. But never fear, technology is here to bridge the gap between misunderstanding and excitement to learn. With this generation of digital learners in our elementary classrooms right now, technology can ignite a spark of learning for both students and teachers. Here are the top 10 free elementary fraction apps available that will benefit teachers, students, and parents and wipe away the negative connotation “fractions” has come to mean.
1. Thinking Blocks
Thinking Blocks is an absolutely fabulous game that poses fraction word problems and then uses models to illustrate how to solve the problem. It is very user friendly and a nice balance of providing help and not just giving away the answer.
2. Freddy’s Fractions
Freddy’s Fractions is a silent but exciting app for upper elementary students. Freddy is a sea turtle that must swim through the ocean collecting fractions and decimals greater than a specified amount. Completing each level gains the player points which can be used to purchase upgrades such as harder shells, faster swimming speeds, and submarine repellent. Students will quickly get lost in this game and enjoy playing AND learning at the same time.’
3. Lobster Dive
Lobster Diver is an interactive number line that has players putting numbers into their correct spots only given the beginning and ending points of the number line. Players must work to beat the clock and avoid the electric eels while collecting as many lobsters from underneath the number line
as possible. The game is very interactive, great at making players think and very generous with the bonuses as long as you work in a timely manner.
4. Splash Math
Splash Math is a great app geared toward all elementary grades. It is grade specific and clearly aligned to the new Oklahoma Academic Standards. The word free is deceiving because only a portion of the game is available without purchasing. The music and characters are catchy. One very nice is piece is that parents can view the progress of their students through simple to read reports and weekly emails.
5. Fractions with Trains!
Fractions with Trains use 5 different denominators to help students gain an understanding of fractions. A part of the train track is missing and students must determine what fraction is needed to repair the track and allow the train to pass. A number line is used to help gauge what fraction is needed. Great for lower grades!
6. Chicken Coop Fractions
Chicken Coop Fractions has students taking proper and improper fractions and proper fractions of a number and placing them on a number line in a specific amount of time. Multiple levels are available for built in differentiation. Kids will love the animation and catchy music.
7. Fraction Poker
Welcome to Fraction Poker. Students will be dealt a hand of 5 cards. Their objective is to pick all of the equivalent fractions showing. Each hand may have 2 to 5 equivalent fractions. Points are awarded based upon how many equivalent fractions are found. This game requires a high level of thinking because the fractions can become quite large. Students will enjoy this game as you never know what is going to come next.
8. Fraction Basics
Fraction Basics presents a collection of videos that walk you through concepts from a basic understanding of fractions to using fractions in computations. Videos are quick paced, give visuals and allow the viewer to easily skip ahead to specific parts needed.
9. Basic Fraction
Basic Fraction is very appealing to the eye with lots of bright colors and many different options. Players are given the choice to identify, compare, reduce, or perform an operation with fractions. Visual images for the fractions are given for identify and compare but only number forms are used for all the rest. There is no reteaching or help if answers are given incorrectly, just simply the correct answer flashed. A very good variety of games for a free app but of course much more is available for upgrading at a small fee.