Okay, are you ready to have your math teaching become a thousand times easier? These resources are so good I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned them before!
These workbooks are the Key to Fractions series. The Key Curriculum Press publishes similar workbooks for decimals, algebra, percents, geometry, you name it. These books go through the material in such a systematic, thorough way I don’t know a single kid who did not completely understand fractions after working through these books. They are also generally free from colorful, distracting drawings. The best word to describe these books is “clear.”
In the fractions series the first book goes through the concepts of fractions, the second goes through multiplying and dividing, the third covers addition and subtraction and the fourth covers mixed numbers. I used these books as review and I found that the first book was overly simple. But if you’re using them to teach from scratch you should definitely use that first book.
At about $3.25 per book it doesn’t hurt too much to pay that little bit extra to have the whole set.
I used the decimals and algebra books a bit for inspiration in teaching those later blocks but I’m not as familiar with them. I found that my students really needed the thorough review of fractions while decimals and algebra did not require as careful and systematic a review.
I just cannot recommend these books enough!