If you teach the upper grades, you likely know how maddening it is to try to teach your students the difference between a multiplication word problem and a division word problem when it comes to fractions. Everything we have taught our kids seems to go out the window!
Once we had the skills down, we moved on to word problems, which some of my students really struggled with. They knew how to divide and multiply fractions, and *sometimes* they could figure out if a word problem was multiplying or dividing, but then some of them didn’t know which number should be the dividend vs. the divisor in a division problem. We practiced and practiced, and finally I resorted to an anchor chart and accompanying foldable. We spent an entire hour walking through 8 different word problems that are representative of the types of problems kids most often come across.
My anchor chart before my students got to class. Ready to go!
I had the students copy the word problems on a foldable so that they could put them into their math journals and reference them later. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not I should have them take the time to write out the problems themselves or if I should type them onto the foldable, but in the end I decided that I wanted them to write them. I’m still torn over whether or not this was a productive use of our time. π

Oops! I just noticed I flip flopped the title pages on this. Just reverse. π 
They all agreed that this helped them to better tell the difference between the two types of problems. As we speak, I’m typing up a mixed bag of word problems to give them tomorrow and see if it really stuck! Let’s hope so!
I am also having my students work through the word problems in my Multiplying Fractions Task Cards and Dividing Fractions Task Cards. You can get those at my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.
Unknown says
Timely blog we just started this very topic today, after 3 days off last week down here in the ATL. This is a very tricky skill but your anchor chart is a great tool for my students, too. Looking forward to more on this as you progress, too, through this unit. THANKS, Roberta
Amy Alvis says
We just started our multiplying and dividing fractions unit. I will have to give this a try!
Mrs. S says
Perfect for where we are…thanks for sharing. Love the INB…my kids are hooked on it. They begged for notes the other day! π
Young Teacher Love Blog says
You are amazing! Fractions are such a tough concept for my kids, let alone word problems!!! These are perfect! Thank you for sharing!
BeachTeach5 says
Fought this battle today! Thanks for the great idea! We're going to try again tomorrow.
Liz
BeachTeach
Unknown says
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Janderson says
Do you have the questions in your journal mixed up?
mrsmstweet says
Yes, I think the titles need switched in the journal entry pic.
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City Girl in Third says
I love this. I'm going to do this as a review with multistep word problems.