Fraction Menu & Thinker Keys

I love teaching fractions. And I LOVE Thinker Keys. Click here to read more about this framework by Tony Ryan.

Okay, now onto the post. Hope you can use this fraction menu with your students. And, I hope you consider trying Thinker Keys in your classroom.


Thinking is essential in math. I am always looking for ways to push my math students' level of thinking beyond just calculating an answer. With Common Core, students are asked to show multiple representations and dig deeper into mathematical understandings. Using Tony Ryan's Thinker Keys, I designed this Learner Menu for students to use to push the level of conceptual understanding of fractions with some higher level thinking. The Learner Menu could be used after instruction on the key concepts has taken place. Notice how the criteria at the top of the menu asks students to demonstrate their mathematical thinking and understanding when completing the tasks. Also notice how there is not one right answer, and sometimes that answer is not right there.

Thinker Keys are a tool teachers can use to embed thinking into any lesson. They can be used as part of a Learner Menu as seen here. Thinker Keys can start a lesson. Thinker Keys can be used as part of small group work to encourage Math Talk. In 2005, Tony Ryan, a Learning Consultant from Australia, updated the Thinker Keys. The earlier version, used on this menu, helps foster creative thinking while focusing on a deeper understanding of the standards. If you want to learn more about the Thinker Keys, click the links below.

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