Fraction Anchor Chart Freebie and Hands-on Fractions

I’m here to share a fraction anchor chart freebie and a hands-on mini lesson idea I used with my math intervention students.

When we started our unit on fractions and did our pre-assessments, I quickly learned that I have a small group of students who need quite a bit of intervention. Unfortunately, many of them lack basic fraction knowledge, including important vocabulary. So, I pulled this small group of students together and created this anchor chart with them.

We started by simply breaking down the definition of fractions. We discussed important vocabulary terms and the parts of a fraction.

After we worked together to create this anchor chart, we got out our notebooks and created different types of fraction models with pencil and paper. The more these students practiced, the better.

Students will use this anchor chart throughout our group meetings as a reference.

I also created a student version of this anchor chart as a reference when they are working on their own, or on practice problems at home.

Click HERE to grab this FREE anchor chart printable to use with your students.

Once I felt that students were mastering different ways to represent fractions on paper, I brought out the Play Dough to tap into some hands-on learning.

Students were asked to show each fraction representation using Play Dough. Yes, even big kids get excited about Play Dough! I absolutely love this intervention lesson because it requires no prep on my part, and students have an absolute blast “playing” with Play Dough. Plus, I love it for small groups. I gave a group of about five students this task, and while they were working, I was able to get up from my small group table and check in on some of my high kids. That can be tough when you’re sitting and constantly talking with those small groups!

First, we worked on representing fractions as part of a group.

Once students showed me they mastered this representation, we moved onto fraction circles and fraction bars. For both, we started by talking about numerators versus denominators. We discussed the vocabulary terms, and I made students show me the number of parts the fraction is broken into (denominator). I gave them plastic knives to make cut the whole into the correct number of part.

After our vocabulary discussion on denominators and numerators, students then used Play Dough to make the fractions.

Last, once I felt students were extremely comfortable with these three representations, I introduced fractions on a number line. I think these tend to be the most difficult for students, so I helped them out by creating the number lines myself. Once students feel more confident with this, I will have them create the number lines on their own.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Just wondering what your other kids were working on while you were working with these kids. Cute idea!

  2. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE the play dough idea. I’m so borrowing this idea. You rock!!!! :)

  3. @My other students are working on skills they need help with. I typically group my students by below, on level, and above. This group of students are performing below level for mastering the standard. The students who are on level with the standard are working on tasks related to the standard (games, practice problems, etc.). My students who are above level are typically working on enrichment or they move on to different standards. I hope that helps!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m wondering, how did you get the perfect circles and rectangles? Is there a playdough/cookie cutter that does fractions? That would be cool.

  5. We actually just eyeballed them. I am not sure if there is a Play Dough cutter for fractions?! That would be awesome if there was something that for fractions out there! :)

    1. Destiny Lorance says:

      I wonder if you could make fraction stamps, by putting those waxy yarn strips (Wikki Stix I think) on overhead sheets (the lines could be printed on the sheets for the students to bend the waxy yarn into place before stamping). They could just stamp into the play dough

  6. I am going to have to try play dough with some of my groups next year. I heard of doing this at a NCTM conference, but I wasn’t sure how it would work with real live students!

    Also, What kind of markers do you use to create your anchor charts?

  7. Thank you!!! I love the printable and used it today in my math Academy!

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      That’s so great to hear, Janelle! Thanks so much for your comments!

  8. Dominique Rosario says:

    I wanted to edit this anchor chart. Instead of having all the words filled in for example, part over whole. I wanted to put _ _ _ _ for part, so my kiddos could fill it in.

    It won’t let me edit in PDF…please help!

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Dominique- This PDF file is not editable due to the terms of use on all font, clipart, borders, etc. in the file. The artists of these have terms of use that state that I must use them in a secure PDF file, and I don’t want to break their terms. Sorry!

  9. You can use a protractor to cut the play dough more precisely .


    Makes learning fun and engaging!!

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