Interactive Fraction Wall - Explore Fraction, Decimals & Percentages

Fraction walls are a great way to teach about fractions and in particular equivalent fractions. In a fraction wall each row or layer of the wall represents one whole number. The layers are divided into a number of bricks and hence each brick represents a fraction whose denominator is equal to the number of bricks in that layer. Each brick can be turned on or off by clicking it. This wall also allows the display of decimal and percentage values. To the right of the wall are boxes which can be hidden, the value of each box is fraction of the wall that has been turned on.

Selecting different walls

When you launch this interactive teaching program the initial wall is a mixed one showing 3 distinct fraction families. Change the wall by using the mode control. 'Large' displays a wall in which the layers are split 1,2,3 up to 12. The others split the wall along 2s, 3s or 5s. The 5s also includes a lower wall of 100 bricks, this naturally works quite well in explaining percentages since each brick represent 1100 or 1%.

Fractions, decimals or percentages

Use the display type control to display decimals (rounded to 2dp), percentages (rounded to 1dp), fractions or none.

The equivalent fraction control

Normally when you click a brick to turn it on or off, only that brick is affected. However if you turn on the equivalent fraction function by clicking the 'Eq' toggle button. Now when a brick is clicked the other layers will turn on bricks if they can match an equivalent fraction. Note, this is not always possible, in fact if you select the primes wall it is never possible to show an equivalent fraction. In this case all the other layers have bricks turned off.

Least Common Multiple

Also known as 'the lowest common multiple' or 'smallest common multiple' is crucial when adding, subtracting or comparing fractions. This button will calculate the LCM based on the rows that have active bricks. Pressing the LCM button will create a new wall that contains the originally selected fraction but also a new layer with the number of divisions equalling the least common multiple of the denominators of the other rows. Sounds complicated, but it really just means that it is always possible to create an equivalent fraction in the LCM row from the other rows.

Other controls

The other controls are

Advanced Section

To show or hide the advanced section click the advanced toggle button

When the advance controls are on, each layer of the wall has a dedicated slider, move this to change the number the number of bricks in that layer.

Further fractions

Closely related to this activity is the percentage fraction and decimals grid, which can be used to display a square or circle fraction representation.

Other activities that can be used to teach fractions are the clock activity which uses the clock face to show the fraction of minutes passed in an hour. Launch the activity and select the fractions mode, this mode also show equivalent fractions for example 3060 = 12. The number explorer activity can show the fraction resulting from division of a number.

Select different fraction walls
Click to turn all the bricks on
Click to turn off all the bricks
Click to create a random wall each brick has a half chance of being on
Align left
Click to align all the on brick to the left side
Select the number type to display on the wall, none, fraction, decimal or percentage
Toggle equivalent mode, if on all layers try to show the equivalent fraction
Adds a layer based on Lowest Common Multiple (LCM) for the denominators of layers with bricks on
Advanced controls, allow changes to number of bricks in each layer and automatic wall types
Show all the totals
Hide all the totals
Automatic 1
Create automatic wall using top slider value and dividing down by each ascending prime factor to create the wall layers
Automatic 2
Create automatic wall using the top slider value and dividing it by every factor to create the wall layers
Add Layer
Add a new layer of bricks to the bottom of the wall
Change the type of total displayed, or leave as match-wall for the same type as wall