Math Mentor Text Linky- Fractions

I’m linking up with Amanda and Stacia again for their Mentor Text linky and this time it’s all about math!  The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins is a great book to help students visualize division as well as fractions of a set.  In the book, Mom made a dozen cookies for her two kids and they have to decide how to split the batch evenly.  Then, more and more kids start showing up, so they have to keep dividing the batch into equal groups.  I had my kids use bingo chips to represent the cookies and each time the doorbell rang, we stopped to manipulate our chips into equal groups to figure out how many cookies each kid would get.

Most of my kids could already do the mental math, but it helped even the highest ones visualize fractions of a set because while we were figuring out how many cookies each kid got, we also wrote the fraction of the batch they got.  They noticed that if there were 4 kids and each kid got 3 cookies, that was 3/12 of the batch.  They could also see that 3/12 could be simplified to 1/4 because each kid got 1 out of 4 of the groups.

Once we finished reading the book, I had them work with a partner to come up with different combinations of cookies and kids while manipulating their chips.  They filled in their recording sheets, showing the number of cookies in the batch, the number of kids, the fraction each kid got, and that fraction simplified.

Above is an example of one student’s recording sheet.  The first table is the one we did together with the book, and I have three more tables on the backside.  Feel free to grab it for free by clicking the image.:)

Simplifying fractions is such a tough concept, and I was glad we did this little exploration so they could actually visualize the process of simplifying.  Be sure to link up with Amanda and Stacia!  


  1. This is such a great idea. I love the activity. My students always struggle with simplifying fractions. Thanks for sharing!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I have never used this book but really like the way you use it with your students. We will be hitting fractions right before our testing and I appreciate you sharing a fun way to teach them simplified fractions.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  3. I love this book and the activity looks like a great way to help the students visualize fractions. We will be teaching fractions soon. I think we can adapt this even for our little kiddos. Thank you so much!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this!!! I have used this book for years to teach division but I have never thought to revisit it and use it for fractions! Slap on the forehead!!!

    Thanks for sharing and a double thank you for the recording sheet!!!

    Koonce’s Korner

  5. Great activities to use with this text! I have not used this text before, so thanks for sharing!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  6. My students had some trouble this year with fractions and problem solving. Your idea is one that would have helped! I am glad I found your blog thru Collaboration Cuties linky. I am your newest follower!

  7. I was actually going to link up using this book and then I saw you already had! I love this book and it is a great hands on activity. I always use cubs because that is what we have, but the round counters make a lot more since because the kids can pretend they are cookies. :)

    Literacy Spark

  8. I love The Doorbell Rang! Great Mentor text! I used it ALL the time when I taught third grade!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  9. I'm with Kelly, I use this book for division. But it seems to be perfect for fractions as well! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I used this to introduce division when I taught 3rd grade (we used the cookie crisp cereal as counters) but I didn't use it in 4th because they already knew the basics of division. I never thought to use it for fractions! Yay! A new purpose for a book I already have! Hooray! I can't wait to use it this way!!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  11. Ooh, thank you for the tip; I just taught Fraction of a Set and this would be a great review. I pinned this to remember to come back to it!

  12. Love to see these fun read alouds move on up with the older kids.
    Thanks for sharing.

    School Is a Happy Place