Grab these free equal sharing problems – in three levels of difficulty!

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A lot of you have been asking for more math activities – and I think you want more than the standard worksheet.

So do I! That’s why I’m beginning a series of differentiated task cards. Each set will include both simple and more complicated math problems.

Since many readers have requested activities for teaching fractions, I decided to start at the beginning … with equal sharing problems. After all, this is what students know – even as preschoolers.

“We have four cookies. How can the two of us share them?” Even young children can understand that they need to give two cookies to each person. And if the two people wish to share three cookies, a young child can break the extra cookie in half.

As you can see, division into equal groups is something that young children understand naturally.

So let’s build on it!

I used the following cards with my second, third, and fifth graders – but some of the cards would be appropriate for younger and older learners as well. Did you know that equal sharing problems are a great way to introduce fractions *in all the elementary grades?*

#### Equal sharing task cards

We can use equal sharing problems even before our students know proper fraction notation. In the following two examples, you’ll see my Seven’s answer to some level one task cards. He’s a mid-year second grader and hasn’t yet learned how to write fractions properly.

The level 1 set is on the simple side. They’re appropriate for on-level learners as young as kindergarten and first grade – provided they can read the task cards. As you can see, it’s A-okay to represent those fractions with numbers and words.

Here’s a level 1 card that my third grader did. He labeled each section K1, K2, etc. (kid 1, kid 2) to keep track of which child got which pretzel.

This is a card from set 2. The 2-dot card are appropriate for on-level learners as young as second grade. As your students do these cards, ask them how they decided to share the leftovers. Reinforce fraction names, such as in the above example: “One and two-thirds.”

Encourage your students to use a picture to show their answer. It will be interesting to see how many different ways your learners illustrate the math problems!

This is a card from set 3. I designed this set to be used with on-level children as young as third grade, but my second grader could do many of the cards. I would certainly make them available for advanced students in the lower graders.

I hope you can see that even though the simplest cards could be used with children as young as kindergarten or first grade, the challenging cards can be used with children even older than third grade. My fifth grader, who is a good math student, had to really stop and think!

For more about teaching fractions, I highly recommend the book ** Extending Children’s Mathematics: Fractions and Decimals**, by Susan B. Empson and Linda Levi. Their book goes into great detail about equal sharing problems.

I hope you and your learners enjoy these! Stay tuned for more differentiated math task cards.

#### More free resources!

© 2018, Anna G. All rights reserved.

Shakera says

I Really love this. These activities will help to develop students higher order thinking skills.

Anna G says

I’m so glad you like them, Shakera!

Celia says

Anna, your materials are amazing and very professionally created. Clear, consice and on the mark interesting for teachers and students.

Kep up the great work!!

Anna G says

Thank you for the encouragement, Celia!

Betty Greene says

Anna,

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful sheets and task cards. Bless you, I am a retired Kindergarten teacher, and soon I will begin a community tutoring program at our local library.

Your wonderful wonderful work is much appreciated to help me help our young children.

Keep up the superb work.

Again, thank you!!!

Anna G says

You’re very welcome, Betty! Thank you so much for the kind words!

Norma says

These look like wonderful relate-to-self and relate-to-real life task cards. Thank you for sharing. My students will enjoy solving these.

Anna G says

I’m so glad you like them, Norma!

Kathy Smiley says

Yes! Thank you so much for differentiated cards!!

I am wondering if you ever have differentiated cards for preschoolers.

I have three year olds, four year olds, and five year olds, and I would love more differentiated resources for their levels- thank you!

Anna G says

Hi Kathy! I do not have differentiated cards for preschoolers, but it’s something I would consider if I had more of an idea of what you could use. If you would send me an email – anna(at)themeasuredmom(dot)com – you could let me know what skills you’d like to see addressed.

Edna says

Hi Anna, thank you for sharing your differentiated cards. Although i am from asia still the cards help me in teaching my pupils. You’re an angel to us. More power. And thanks for the freebies. I just love them.

Anna G says

Thank you for the encouragement, Edna!

Jen says

Hi, I am so excited about using these! Thanks for making them. I’m not sure if I didn’t download them correctly, but I only see 1 level of cards in the link – I’m looking for Level 1, and the cards I see seem to mostly be for older than K-1st graders. Can you steer me in the right direction?

Anna G says

Hi Jen! You should see three pages of cards – with 1 dot, 2 dots, and 3 dots. The 1 dot cards are for kids as young as kindergarten – provided they can read the cards or have someone to help them do so.

Carol M says

Basic facts are so boring for 5th graders to practice. My small group loved the bingo game. They were so excited when they were able to find the answers on the board. This was also a great way to talk strategy without frustration. Thanks for a great idea.

Anna G says

You’re very welcome, Carol!