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KE ME SOME SPACE VIA A TRICK FROM GRHome | MathCLIPS Tools | Fraction Strips Tool

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This page has been updated for Fraction Strips version 0.8.0 released May 2017.
How-To Videos
PDF supports
Fraction Strips
Use Fraction Strips to represent, compare, order, and operate on fractions. Represent fractions by dragging pieces from the fraction tower into the workspace.
Pieces can be placed in a line to form a train. Manipulate the pieces and trains to compare and order fractions or to model fraction operations.

Mathematical Concepts:

Create visual representations that help explore mathematical thinking related to:
  • Understanding part-whole relationships
  • Representing, comparing and ordering fractions
  • Iterating a unit fraction by copying
  • Exploring the relationship between the number of equal partitions in a whole and the fractional unit (denominator)
  • Exploring equivalent fractions
  • Modelling operations with fractions
    • placing pieces beside or between each other, to combine fractions (addition)
    • removing pieces from trains (subtraction)
    • aligning trains to compare fractions with or without using comparison bars, including to find differences (subtraction)
    • copying strips or trains to model repeated addition (multiplication)
Take a screenshot of your work to share with your teacher or add to a portfolio. You can insert pictures into the Tool using theimportPicture.PNGbutton.

Represent unit, proper and improper fractions. Combine pieces into a train to model operations.

Align trains using the built-in snapping. Zoom in for more precision. Rulers, when shown, will illuminate ticks in red if a piece ends exactly in that spot.
Create a vertical comparison bar to track a position down from train to train.
Adjust the height of the tower using the double-arrow button beneath it; use the scroll bar to access hidden fractions.
Reposition the fraction tower by dragging using the dark blue area at the top.
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Exploring Equivalence
The equivalence bar in the tower can be dragged to reveal equivalent fractions in the tower.
The ruler can be shown, with steppers that change the fractional unit (e.g., from thirds to sixths), to assist with renaming fractions.
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  • place pieces beside or between each other, to combine fractions (addition)
  • remove pieces from trains (subtraction)
  • aligning trains to compare fractions with or without using comparison bars, including to find differences (subtraction)
  • copying strips or trains to model repeated addition (multiplication)

Customizing the Tool
Colours can be changed to match physical manipulatives, like Pattern Blocks. Images, like the one below of a shape created by the Pattern Blocks tool can be imported.
Strips can be removed from the tower. Pieces can be made more or less transparent (Settings).
Annotation tools to select, draw, erase, and create lines, arrows and shapes are available from the Pencil icon at the top of the screen.
Add text using the text box tool. Change the appearance (thickness, transparency, colour, size) of objects created with the annotation tools.
Copy any image or annotation object, just like you would a piece or train.
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Ribbon Problem

The grade 7 class is making decorations. They have 5 meters of ribbon to use. Each decoration takes 2/5 of a meter of ribbon.
How many decorations can they make?
Note: The video below was created with a previous version of the Fraction Strips Tool.


Features of the Tool


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Equivalence Bar
Drag to highlight equivalent fractions in the tower.
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Change Tower Height
Drag to adjust the height of the tower. If strips are hidden, use the scroll bar to reveal them.
To move the tower, drag it by the dark blue area at the top.
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Toggle between showing:
  • no labels
  • the labels in the tower only
  • labels in the tower and in the workspace
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Customize Fraction TowerFractionStripColourSettingsDialog.png
Show the Customize Fraction Tower dialog to
  • choose a colour palette (Rainbow, Original, or One Colour)
  • include or exclude strips in the tower
  • change the colour of the strips and the related pieces in the workspace
  • restore the tower to its default state
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Toggle between
  • not showing rulers

  • showing rulers

  • showing rulers and the stepper to change the tick marks on the ruler

The ticks are illuminated in red if a piece ends exactly at that position.
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Create Comparison Bar

A comparison bar is a grey, vertical line that is useful to compare fractions, especially when the left edges are aligned.
Multiple comparison bars can be created. The length of a bar, its colour and its thickness can be modified.
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Zoom Out
Zoom out to see more of the workspace. The fraction pieces will look smaller.
On mobile, you can use the pinch-to-zoom gesture to zoom in and out.
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Zoom In
Zoom in on selected pieces.
The fraction pieces will look bigger, which is useful for more precise comparison,
especially when working with small fractions.
To pan the workspace use the scroll bars (desktop) or gesture with two fingers (mobile).
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Zoom To Fit
Re-orient the workspace so that all fraction pieces are on the screen.

Annotation Tool

Make notes or highlight various features of your representation. More details.

Insert Image Button

You can insert images into the tool. More details.



Step backward or forward through your actions with the tool.
This feature is not only useful for backtracking when a misstep is made, it enables a student to
demonstrate their work from the start to the finish.
They press Undo until they are at the start of their solution and then press Redo repeatedly,
explaining each step.


Return the tool to its original state.
All objects in the workspace will be deleted and the settings will be restored to their defaults.


Opens a dialog with a link to this wiki, a feedback form as well as copyright details and version number.

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Show the Settings dialog to:
  • Open a previously saved Fraction Strips file
  • Save your work in a file (see File Operations for more details)
  • Restore Defaults to retain the objects in the workspace, while restoring the settings to their defaults,
    including labels, rulers, and colours.


Click to clear selected tiles. If nothing is selected, the entire work space will be cleared.
Alternatively, drag items to the recycle bin to remove them.

Keyboard Shortcuts

On the desktop version of this tool, most of the standard Keyboard Shortcuts have been implemented.
NOTE: Movement with the arrow keys has been disabled in Fraction Strips since they manipulate the scrolling windows.
the PageUp and PageDown buttons will also scroll the workspace vertically.

How-To Videos

Exploring, Creating and Naming Fraction Representations (for previous version of Fraction Strips)
Note: The video below was created with a previous version of the Fraction Strips Tool.
Much of the information included is still relevant. However, notice the following changes:
  • the default colours are different
  • the tower no longer has labels at the side. See the label button above for current information.
  • this version does not show any status bar hints
  • ruler functionality has been revised, see above
  • to drag multiple pieces from the tower click on any piece in a row and drag to the workspace, all pieces to the left come along automatically, there is no longer a keyboard shortcut to do this
  • most of the information described in the settings has been moved to the buttons in the workspace ( see above for details)

Video Transcript

Not Working? Try mp4 format

Moving, Copying, Deleting and Aligning Fraction Representations (for previous version of Fraction Strips)
Note: The video below was created with a previous version of the Fraction Strips Tool.
Much of the information included is still relevant. However, notice the following changes:
  • the mini menu has been removed, see details about copying and deleting above
  • the functionality of the alignment bar has been replaced with pieces that snap to grid to align and a configurable comparison bar can be added

Video Transcript
Not Working? Try mp4 format

PDF supports

A Fraction Strips Story: Reflections on a Student’s Mathematical Exploration (Draft)

Fraction Strips and Fraction Towers
(Source - EduGAINS /Ministry Developed Resources/ Mathematics / Classroom Practices/Technology and Teaching Tools/Manipulative Use )
  • What are they?
  • How do they help students?
  • Usage Recommendations
  • Sample Activities
  • Related Websites

Visit EDUGAINS for additional Tip Sheets.

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