Multiplying Fractions with Pattern Blocks

If your students are working on multiplying whole numbers and fractions, fractions and fractions, fractions and mixed numbers, OR mixed numbers and mixed numbers (so basically this applies to any and all of the fraction multiplication standards!), then I think you will love this activity!

I shared this hands-on activity on Instagram and the response was so great that I decided I needed to turn this into a blog post so that teachers could easily refer back to it when they get to their fraction units! This activity makes very intentional use of pattern blocks to help build students’ conceptual understanding of multiplication with fractions. I truly believe students cannot build a deep understanding of fractions, especially operations with fractions, without concrete experiences.

The activity itself is pretty simple to set up and do, but it does take some understanding from a teacher standpoint in order to facilitate it in a way that is mathematically productive for students.

With that being said, the best way for me to show you how to use this is through video so I saved my Instagram stories and uploaded them here (if you aren’t used to Instagram stories, they go in 15 second chunks, so I apologize in advance for the choppiness of the video!).

If you would like to use this in your own classroom, you can download the placemat for this activity below! I have not included directions for how to use the placemat directly in this download because I want you to be able to see it used “in action” (through the video) because it makes a whole lot more sense that way.

I did link back to this post in the download so you can quickly re-watch the explanation video if you need to. I also included some possible problems you can use with your students that can be solved with pattern blocks.

If you use this placemat in your classroom, I would love to see it in action! Feel free to email me and let me know how it goes or share it on Instagram and tag me (@mixandmath). I hope your kiddos love it as much as mine did!

Brittany Hege