A fraction wall is comprised of layers that are all one whole unit wide. Each layer is divided into a different number of equal-sized pieces to represent the fractions halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths, and twelfths. Some fraction walls include a vertical slider that can be used to directly compare fractions from different rows. A fraction wall is a very visual and concrete way to teach fraction concepts such as comparing fractions, equivalent fractions, and common denominators.
Virtual manipulatives, such as Brainingcamp's Fraction Manipulatives, let users turn on labels, often in customizable formats (fraction, decimal, percent. Brainingcamp's Fraction Manipulatives also includes the ability to tap each piece of the wall on or off, making it easy to visualize and represent parts of a whole.
Each row on the fraction wall is one whole unit wide. A fraction is a number than compares a part with a whole. Each row represents a whole split into a different number of pieces. The number of highlighted or shaded pieces in each row represents a fraction. The numerator is the number of highlighted or shaded pieces, and the denominator is the total number of equal-size pieces in the whole.
To find the common denominator of 1/3 and 1/4 on a fraction wall, use the vertical slider to find a tile value that aligns with both 1/3 and 1/4. The 1/12 pieces align with both 1/3 and 1/4 pieces, so 12 is a common denominator of the two fractions.
To compare 1/3 and 1/5, drag the cursor to the end of the first 1/3 piece and see that it is greater than the 1/5 piece. Notice that when fractions have the same numerator, the greater the denominator the smaller the fraction. When fractions have the same denominator, the greater the numerator the greater the fraction.
To find fractions equivalent to 2/3, drag the cursor to the end of two 2/3 tiles and see what other fractions represent the same amount of a whole.
To add 1/5 and 2/5, select one 1/5 tile and then select two 1/5 tiles. There are three 1/5 tiles in total so 1/5 + 2/5 equals 3/5.