Fraction Spinners Make Fractions Fun!

Fraction Spinners make it easy to create fun fraction games for math centers or cooperative learning lessons. Years ago I created the two free fraction spinners below and uploaded them to my Fractions File Cabinet page, but I didn’t include directions or suggestions for activities. Today I’d like to share some ideas for using these fraction spinners, and I’d love to hear your own suggestions!

When you download these two fraction spinners, you’ll notice that one has fractions with different denominators and the other has fractions with the same denominator, twelfths. Decide which variation you plan to use with your students, and then print and laminate one copy for each game. You’ll also need a paper clip and a pencil to create a homemade spinner for each game.  Refer to the directions on the bottom of each printable.

Create Your Own Fraction Spinner Games

The four partner games below are ideas for using the free fraction spinners to create your own fraction games. The directions are for two players; partner games are generally more effective than team games because students are more actively engaged when working with one student than they are when playing in a large group.

  • Simplifying Fractions Game – For this activity, use the “same-denominator” spinner that has all fractions written in twelfths.  Ask players to take turns spinning the spinner and recording the fraction. If it’s already in lowest terms, they score one point. If it needs to be simplified and they do it correctly, they score two points. If state that it’s already in lowest terms but it’s not, they lose a point.
  • Adding or Subtracting Fractions Game – Students spin twice, record both fractions, and flip a coin. If the coin lands on heads, they add the fractions and simplify to find the answer. If the coin lands on tails, they subtract the smaller one from the larger one. Students score a point for each correct answer. Because there’s no answer key, both players will have to solve the problem or one person can check with a calculator that can solve fraction problems.
  • Comparing Fractions Game – Each student spins the spinner once and records his or her fraction. Players compare fractions and decide who has the larger fraction. The person with the larger fraction for that round wins a point. Players continue until one person scores 10 points.
  • Ordering Fractions Game – Students spin the spinner 3 times and record all 3 fractions. They rearrange the fractions in order from least to greatest. If the other player agrees with the arrangement, the player scores a point. Continue playing until one person scores 10 points.

I love how easy it is to create a fraction games for these spinners! I’ll bet you could challenge your students to create their own fraction games, too! How would you use these spinners in your math class?