Fractions | Add and Subtract Unlike Fractions

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Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators | Equivalent Fractions


28 Step-by-Step Math Lessons | Special Education Math Intervention | Fifth Grade Math Level


This Equivalent Fractions and Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators lesson workbook includes an example IEP goal, 28 step-by-step math lessons, reviews and assessments. This evidence-based math intervention is tied to fifth grade standards and is great for special education math goals and tier 2 small group math interventions (RTI).

These sequential lessons are easy to teach, with enough material for 6 weeks of instruction!

Equivalent Fractions Lessons

These lessons teach students to rewrite fractions as equivalent fractions with larger denominators.  Lessons begin by teaching the concept of equivalency.  It is vital that students understand this concept before moving on to the computation lessons. The concept of equivalency is taught with simplified language to make it accessible to more students.

The lessons in this workbook build upon skills gained in previous lessons.  Students need to master the pre-skills taught in the previous fractions workbooks before equivalency problems are introduced:

  1. Knowledge of terms “numerator” and “denominator”
  2. Can multiply fractions
  3. Can construct a fraction that equals one whole
  4. Can find the missing factor in a multiplication problem (3 times what equals 12?)


Add & Subtract Unlike Fractions Lessons

The first part in this section teaches adding and subtracting unlike fractions.  The second part teaches adding and subtracting mixed numbers with unlike denominators.  This is a complicated process with lots of steps—basically a culmination of all of the math computation skills students have learned thus far.  Students need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit numbers. 


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This PDF Download Includes:

28 Lessons
3 Reviews
3 Tests

253 Pages

6 Weeks of Instruction


Students Will Be Able To:

Equivalent Fractions

  • Recognize when fractions are equivalent, using pictures and number lines
  • Use pictures and number lines to write equivalent fractions
  • Represent equivalent fractions by shading pictures and marking number lines
  • Use pictures and number lines to find an equivalent fraction
  • Understand that multiplying by a fraction equal to one will yield an equivalent fraction
  • Use parentheses to multiply fractions
  • Multiply to find an equivalent fraction with a larger denominator
  • Set up the equation to find an equivalent fraction

Add and Subtract Unlike Fractions

  • Find common denominators and equivalent fractions
  • Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators
  • Compare fractions with unlike denominators
  • Change whole numbers to fractions
  • Change mixed numbers to improper fractions
  • Add and subtract mixed numbers with unlike denominators
  • Solve word problems by adding and subtracting unlike fractions and mixed numbers


Teacher Feedback:

Equivalent Fractions

❤️ “This was an effective resource for teaching my 6th-8th grade students on the autism spectrum about equivalent fractions. They especially found the number line activities helpful." -Mira L.


❤️ “This unit is perfect for my 4th grade resource math students because it breaks down the skill into parts and does not overwhelm them with additional skills or mixed practice. This really allows me to target the strategy and provide students with a lot of practice. The visuals are also very clean and not distracting." -Elissa R.


❤️ “This resource is perfect to use with my Special Education students. I feel like they are actually grasping the concepts." -Lindsey T.


❤️ “I love this resource! I really like how it breaks down the concept into very small pieces. I also like how it has a section for modeling the concept, practicing together, and then independent practice. My students usually struggle with finding equivalent fractions, but this resource is making it so much easier for them to understand." -Jacqueline R.


❤️ “One of the best resources on TPT for Special Education. When you have sped students in a self-contained classroom that are not low enough to take the alternate assessment and your not an expert in math, this is a must resource to add to your collection. Moreover, with peer or teacher assistant support, this resource can help my lower level students achieve success. This is an excellent resource for those self-contained special education teachers that have to reinvent the wheel to put together a curriculum to meet the needs of their students." -Success Beyond the Box


❤️ “I have purchased many of the intervention resources from this vendor. Her materials are great for special education students and those who struggle with math concepts. Love the large print and how tasks are broken down into smaller steps." -Mona W.


❤️ “Love the guided, independent practice, and the repetition that this resource provides." -Debra Z.


❤️ “Equivalent fractions can be so hard to teach, I found this perfect to scaffold instruction for my students needs." -Elissa M.


❤️ “Students can easily understand equivalent fractions. The resource is visual and easy to use. Thank you." -Amanda G.


❤️ “This has been wonderful for my high school self-contained math class!" -Simple Special Ed


❤️ “This curriculum is awesome! I really appreciate the step by step approach it takes. It's good for tutoring/ providing to a para to assist a student that needs more explicit help." -Jennifer B.


Add & Subtract Unlike Fractions


❤️ “I absolutely love this resource! I love how the concepts are broken down into easy-to-understand steps. Each lesson builds on the previous and gives lots of opportunities for practice. I've been looking for a good math intervention program for my students and this one is awesome! My students are making so many gains! One of my students felt so successful that he asked for homework! I liked this so much I got the entire program!" -Jacqueline R.


❤️ “GREAT RESOURCE. BEST ONE I HAVE EVER USED!!!" -Kindhearted Creations


❤️ “I was really struggling with my students learning how to work with fractions. There are so many steps! This resource scaffolds the steps, sets a good pace, and provides repeated practice! I love it!" -Sandra J K.


❤️ “I love this resource - I have bought many resources from TpT over the years and this is one of the best! The scaffolding is exceptional." -Julie K.


❤️ “I used this resource during my small group math time and my kids were engaged and enjoyed learning. They were even able to work independently on the pages which made them feel so accomplished!" -Emily S.


❤️ “I love these workbooks for scaffolding new material. Great resource for my SpEd classroom." -Chelsea R.


❤️ “I love this for helping to teach students with more scaffolding on comparing fractions with unlike denominators." -Casey M.


Lessons Are Tied to These Fourth & Fifth Grade Math Standards:

  • Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators (CCSS 4.NF.A.2)
  • Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions (CCSS 5.NF.A.1)
  • Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole, including cases of unlike denominators (CCSS 5.NF.A.2)


View More Fraction Workbooks


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Watch a video overview of Step-by-Step Math to Mastery or read the transcript here.

Step-by-Step Math to Mastery™ Resources:

Make math easier to understand.

  • Help students over math hurdles with clear, sequential, scaffolded lessons.
  • Prevent overwhelm. Build student confidence.

Make math easier to teach.

  • Save hours of planning and piecing together materials.
  • Paraeducators can deliver quality instruction independently. Open & teach.

Reasons You'll Love Step-by-Step Math to Mastery™ Resources

  • Boosts student confidence and progress
  • Lightens teacher workload
  • Time-saving: print and teach
  • Easy prep: only black ink is needed
  • Easy to teach, paraeducator-friendly
  • Example IEP goals and shorter term objectives
  • Consistent & predictable format
  • Lots of practice repetitions
  • Scaffolded with structured workspaces
  • Fewer problems on a page, white space, minimal visual clutter
  • Tied to standards
  • Explicit/Direct instruction
  • Systematic & sequential
  • Mastery approach--teaching one topic at a time, one strategy at a time
  • Lessons have "I Can" statements, model problems, guided practice, & independent practice
  • Each workbook can be used individually as a stand-alone intervention for that skill or they can be used together, taking students from the basics of number sense and addition in first grade all the way to dividing fractions and decimals in fifth grade.
  • Can also be used with older students (middle & high school) to help fill the gaps in their learning.


About the Author

Hi! I am a Special Education & Title 1 teacher interested in task analysis. My resources break tasks into small and explicit steps, reducing cognitive load for learners so they can feel successful and confident rather than overwhelmed and reluctant to try. I strive to lighten the workload of teachers by making resources as practical and easy-to-use as possible. I sincerely hope my work can benefit you and your students.

I appreciate your support and feedback.


Terms of Use

Copyright © Angela Dansie, All rights reserved. This product is to be used by the original purchaser for single class use only. You may not put this product on the internet where it could be publicly found and downloaded. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. If you want to share this resource with colleagues, please purchase additional licenses. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use only.

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