# Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators

# Tips and Resources for Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators

*Looking for adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators activities?*

Just when your students have gotten comfortable with fractions… Boom!

**You throw a whole new skill at them** and it feels like they’re learning a different language.

** Adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators** is a relatively **simple skill to learn**, but there are a lot of **aspects that play into the lesson besides just adding and subtracting.**

By this age your students have a **good foundation of basic addition and subtraction**, so finding resources and activities to **challenge these skills is important**!

While you may be thinking **working with fractions is challenging enough**, the resources I’m going to share with you will **help your students work with like denominators** in **multiple different ways** and **combat their critical thinking skills. **

I’ve also included some **tips** for **helping students simplify their fractions** after **adding** or **subtracting**, but I won’t get ahead of myself just yet!

## Adding and subtracting fractions activities

### Adding and Subtracting Fractions for Google Classroom

One of the best ways you can help your students **understand** **adding** and **subtracting** **fractions** is presenting it through both **numbers ***and* models.

Some kids have** no problems learning with just numbers**, while others **learn best through physical representation** – this resource includes both!

Included in this Google Classroom resource is a plethora of **short-answer activities** that **address ***both*** adding and subtracting numerical fractions**, and visual fractions in the form of pizzas, cupcakes, and cookies.

You’ll find anywhere from your **basic equations** such as ⅗ + ⅕ to **more complex question**s that require your students to **find missing addends** or to **create given amounts by adding or subtracting fraction portions. **

For example, what’s a possible equation that could make 7/10?

Your students will be able to **work with fraction tiles** to represent 3/10 + 4/10 = 7/10, 5/10 + 2/10 = 7/10, etc.

There are also** word problems** included that **require your students to show a step-by-step method** for *how*** they solved the problem**.

Just another way to **build a deeper understanding of the skill** and **allow you to see their thinking and solving process.**

To grab this **Google Classroom resource**, you can find it here!

### Interactive Notebook for Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators

This interactive notebook is another **great option** for going **beyond the basic addition and subtraction problems.**

Like the Google Classroom resource, but with **all different questions and content**, there are **activities that require filling in missing fractions** to addition or subtraction problems, as well as **questions that contain mistakes** for the students to find and explain what is required to correct the mistake.

**Questions are in both numerical form** and **model form** to support all students’ preferred learning types, as well as **word problems to extend their learning even more.**

There are **3 levels of differentiation** to **allow for any accommodation. **

This notebook can also be converted into an interactive PDF if you prefer digital over paper!

**You can take a closer look at this resource here!**

### Simplifying Fractions

I honestly think the **most difficult part of adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators** isn’t the actual addition or subtraction part, but **simplifying the answer**.

Before your students can confidently start simplifying their answers, **they’ll have to do some groundwork with prime factorization.**

I’ll do some **debriefing on prime factorization if you’re needing a quick refresh! **

The first step in **simplifying is to find the greatest common factor** between the **numerator** and the **denominator**.

You can do this by **completing the prime factorization for each number. **

We can **practice with 9/12**.

The **prime factorization for 9 = 3 x 3.**

**3 can’t be broken down anymore, so we have to leave it as is.**

The **prime factorization for 12 = 4 x 3.**

**4 can be broken down again to 2 x 2. **

The greatest common factor between 9 and 12 is 3.

9 divided by 3 is 3, and 12 divided by 3 is 4. So that means 9/12 simplified is ¾.

**I have included a couple more examples below!**

I like to add in these examples because they **either require another step**, or **they’re solved differently! **

6 divided by 3 is 2.

18 divided by 3 is 6.

**9 times out of 10 your students will walk away writing 2/6 as their simplified fraction. **

Help them see they have **one more prime factorization** to solve since **both 2 and 6 are divisible by 2! **

Therefore making the actual simplified answer ⅓.

5 is also a great prime number to work with since 5 alone is prime, but other numbers that contain 5 are *not* prime.

5 divided by 5 is 1. 15 divided by 5 is 3, making this simplified fraction also ⅓.

### Fraction Bars or Strips

If you’re looking for one of the most basic ways to teach adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators, that *also* focuses on simplifying, **fraction bars or strips are SO helpful to provide a visual!**

These** fraction bars** show multiple ways to add up to 1.

It can also show that 4/8 is equal to 2/4, as is ½.

**If your students are struggling with understanding what it means to “simplify,”** I highly recommend showing them these kinds of displays.

**Visuals can totally clear up the confusion!**

There are **multiple digital fraction bars** and **strips** that you can use for free – **Toy Theater, Didax, and Room Recess** are some online resources just to name a few!

### Music

Another form of learning that your students may connect with is **through music and song. **

To us they may seem cheesy.

**To your students they may be lifesavers!**

You can listen to the **simplest form song by Numberock ****here! **

I also think this **simplifying fractions rap is super fun**.

Not only is it a catchy beat that your students remember, but also incorporates a pizza visual and numbers, too. You can preview it here!

## Want an equivalent fractions freebie?

Enter your deets below to get an equivalent fractions color-by-number activity sent straight to your inbox!

## Looking for more fraction blog posts?

I have a number of other **fraction blog posts** for you to check out!

**7 Hands-on Activities to Teach Equivalent Fractions****Digital Activities to Compare Fractions****How to Make Equivalent Fractions A Success****The Best Fraction Picture Books****3rd-Grade Fractions Activities ROUND-UP**

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