Short Blocks

Maths Year 1 Spring Fractions

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

Unit 1 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

Unit 2 Find half and quarter of amounts (suggested as 2 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Place 8 candles on a birthday cake. Model how we can cut this in half so that each half has the same number of candles. Demonstrate 4 candles on each half. Record 1/2 of 8 = 4. Repeat to find half of a cake with 12 smarties. Record 1/2 of 12 is 6.
Group Activities
Use the ‘Halving Chains’ in-depth problem solving investigation below as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
-- Divide a tower of cubes equally to find 1/2 of that number.
-- Use paper plates divided in half to investigate halves of numbers.

Day 2 Teaching
Use a pizza with 8 bits of tomato/pepperoni. Demonstrate how we can divide the pizza into 1 half and then into half again to get quarters. Stress that the quarters must be identical. They each have 2 pieces of tomato. 1/4 of 8 = 2. Repeat.
Group Activities
-- Cut out shapes and fold them to make quarters.
-- Find 1/4 of numbers by breaking towers of cubes into half and half again.

You Will Need

  • Cake and candles, Smarties and blunt knife and plates
  • Number cards 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 28
  • Cubes, stickers, paper plates and strips of paper
  • Cold pizza, pepperoni pieces, tomato pepper and pizza cutter
  • ‘Finding quarters’ sheet (see resources)
  • Scissors

Mental/Oral Maths Starters

Day 1
Doubles and halves (pre-requisite skills)

Suggested for Day 2
Finding doubles (simmering skills)

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • True or false?
    There are 2 quarters in each half.
    Sometimes 1 quarter is larger than another.
    Half of 8 is 4.
    A quarter of 8 is 4.
  • Make a line of 20 cubes.
    Break it into quarters.
    How many in each quarter?
  • Here is a line of 12 cubes. Is 1/4 of them shaded?

In-depth Investigation: Halving Chains
Children investigate which numbers from 1 to 20 will give the longest halving chain (each ‘link’ must be a whole number).

Extra Support

Squabbling Squirrels
Halving even numbers up to 12