Short Blocks

Maths Year 1 Spring Fractions

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Understand halves and quarters (suggested as 3 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss colouring mats so that half is green and half is yellow. Stress that halves are equal. Give out paper circles, squares, semi-circles and equilateral triangles. Children fold them in half. Collect and show how each half is the same size as its opposite half.
Group Activities
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation ‘Happy Halving’ from NRICH as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
-- Find half of shapes in different ways, including folding.

Day 2 Teaching
Fold a piece of paper into quarters. Stress that quarters must all be the same size. One cannot be larger than the others as it wouldn’t be fair! Show how to shade different shapes in quarters.
Group Activities
-- Find a quarter of a set of illustrations by folding strips of paper.
-- Fold shapes to find a quarter.

Day 3 Teaching
Quickly revisit folding to give halves and quarters by modelling with a circle of paper. Next, show an example of a shape that can be folded in half one way, but not the other. Show an example of a shape that can not be folded in half.
Group Activities
-- Investigate halving and quartering shapes by folding.

You Will Need

  • A4 paper, pre-painted, yellow and green paint.
  • Pre-cut paper shapes (circles, squares, semi-circles, equilateral triangles, rhombuses, rectangles).
  • Cup-cakes or pictures of cakes.
  • Teddy bears.
  • Paint – red and blue.
  • ‘Decorations for party hats’ sheet (see resources).
  • Large paper shapes: circle, heart, lightning bolt
  • Lots of different paper shapes for folding investigation
  • Paper straws.

Mental/Oral Maths Starters

Suggested for Day 1
Count on in 1s from a multiple of 10 (simmering skills)

Suggested for Day 2
Identifying multiples of 10 (simmering skills)

Suggested for Day 3
Teens numbers (simmering skills)


Day 1
Make party mats for Teddy by colouring halves of shapes.

Day 2
Design a new party mat by colouring quarters.
Discuss shapes that are and are not divided into equal quarters; shade quarters.

Day 3
Draw fold lines to show halves and quarters.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • Draw a line across each shape to cut it in half (trapezium, dodecagon, oblong: see teaching document).
  • This strip of paper has been folded into four parts. Is each part a quarter?
  • How many quarters in 1 whole cake?

In-depth Investigation: Happy Halving
Children split shapes in half so that the two parts are exactly the same. Happy Halving from

Extra Support

Happy Halving
Spend time on this investigation to secure children’s understanding that each of two halves must be equal in size. Happy Halving from