Fractions on a Number Line


In third grade, your child will represent fractions in pictures, number bonds, and on a number line. These drawings, or models, allow your child to develop a visual understanding of what fractions really are. Remember, the fraction one-third means that three equal parts make up one whole.

How do you represent fractions on a number line? In third grade, your child will begin by placing fractions between zero and one. Look! The number line is divided into three equal parts, just as the tape diagram is! One-third, two-thirds, three-thirds. Talk with your child about how she can see that three-thirds equals one whole.

Let’s try one! Place three-fourths on a number line. Three-fourths is between zero and one. The four in the denominator tells your child to partition, or break, the number line into four equal parts. She will recognize that each part is one-fourth of one whole. One-fourth, two-fourths, three-fourths, four-fourths.

Fractions may look scary at first, but they are just numbers on the number line! Drawing these models now helps your child to see fractions as numbers on a number line. This will build a strong understanding for later grades and using fractions to problem solve.

And that’s good to know.

This video addresses Common Core Grade 3 Standard Number & Operations – Fractions: Develop understanding of fractions as numbers. Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.

A) Represent a fraction 1/b on a number line diagram by defining the interval from 0 to 1 as the whole and partitioning it into b equal parts. Recognize that each part has size 1/b and that the endpoint of the part based at 0 locates the number 1/b on the number line.

B) Represent a fraction a/b on a number line diagram by marking off a lengths 1/b from 0. Recognize that the resulting interval has size a/b and that its endpoint locates the number a/b on the number line.