Butterfly Method Fractions
As a primary teacher, you’ll probably have taught several different methods for adding and subtracting fractions, but have you ever tried butterfly method fractions? This simple, visual method might just be worth a try with your KS2 class.
How do Butterfly Method Fractions work?
Start by writing out your calculation:
Now draw two butterfly wings by drawing two diagonal ovals:
Now draw two antennae, like this:
Multiply the numbers in the first oval and record the product:
Now do the same in the second oval:
Give the butterfly a tail and multiply the two bottom wings together:
This bottom number will now be your denominator…
...and you can add the two antennae numbers to make the numerator:
You can then convert or simplify your answer.
And there you have it! Butterfly Method Fractions. Easy, right?!
How do you use Butterfly Method Fractions to subtract fractions?
All you need to do differently is to subtract the smaller number from the antenna from the larger number.
Why not try using the butterfly method for adding and subtracting fractions with your class and see how they get on? As an added challenge, ask them to explain in their own words how the method works.
You can find Butterfly Method Fractions within our Calculating Decimals and Fractions Maths lessons for Year 6. Why not check out our fully-prepared library of primary Maths lessons?