Q:

# How do you make your own printable fraction bars?

A:

Printable fraction bar templates are available from several websites, including TimVandevall.com and Math-Salamanders.com, or individuals can make their own printable fraction bars in a program such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. Fraction bars are rectangular strips that measure about 1 inch high by about 7.5 inches long. The first bar typically represents one whole, while the other bars are divided into two, three, four or more even sections to help students visualize specific fractions and their equivalents.

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To make printable fraction bars in a program such as Word, insert a single-column table along the top of the page, add a row to the table, and apply borders only around the perimeter of the bar. This fraction bar represents one whole. Press enter, and insert another table of the same size with two evenly divided columns. This is the half fraction bar. Continue the process to create bars for the desired fractions, such as thirds, eighths, 12ths or 16ths.

Create colored fraction strips by selecting the fill tool and choosing a different color for each table, or leave the bars black and white. Leave the fraction bars blank, or label them by typing "one whole," "1/2" or "1/8" into each cell in the table. Free printable templates available online provide similar options. TimVandevall.com offers labeled and unlabeled fraction strips in color and black-and-white as printable PNG files. Math-Salamanders.com has a similar selection.

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