Practical work is the key to success! Children coming into Year 3 should have a sound understanding of simple fractions, especially halves, quarters and thirds. They should have had plenty of practical experience dividing shapes and sets of objects into quarters and thirds.
There are several new concepts on fractions to be understood in Year 3 but it is still important to use practical work, using shapes and objects, to help with understanding.
One of the quirks of fractions, which some children find hard to understand, is that as the denominator gets larger the size of the fraction gets smaller (e.g. one tenth is smaller than one fifth; one twentieth is smaller than one tenth and so on). We have some excellent ordering fractions pages for Year 3 to help consolidate this concept. As well as these, some of our most popular worksheets are the sets of finding fractions of numbers. Again, the link between fractions and division needs to be constantly reinforced.
As the year progresses children will be introduced to adding and subtracting fractions, but only with the same denominator and with totals up to one whole one. Simplifying fractions is important at this stage and children should be encouraged to write fractions in their simplest form. (e.g. two sixths can be simplified to one third).
Our latest set of worksheets covers word problems involving fractions and are well worth a look.