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4th Grade Resources

Fun Partitioning Shapes Activities

First-grade math covers a lot of geometry. It's important to teach the basics now so that our students can continue to build their skills year after year. After they have a solid understanding of basic shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles it's time to move on to something a little more complex. Today I'm going to share some fun partitioning shapes activities that you can use in your classroom.  (And, PSSST, read all the way to the bottom to enter a contest to win a TpT Gift Card!)

Use these fun and engaging partitioning shapes activities to get your students on their way to understanding parts of a whole.

Geometry: Reason with Shapes & Their Attributes

Use these fun and engaging partitioning shapes activities to get your students on their way to understanding parts of a whole.
Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are at the heart of getting our kids ready to navigate today's world. It's up to us as teachers to understand the different ways our students can acquire these abilities. Geometry and partitioning shapes are a great place to start.


The first grade Common Core Math Standard 1.G.3 calls for students to partition(or divide) circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares. Students then need to describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters. They also need to use the words half of, fourth of, and a quarter of. They must gain an understanding of these examples that decomposing into more equal shares creates smaller shares.

Fun Partitioning Shapes Activities

Define Partitioning

Students need to understand partitioning before moving into fractions, so this is where I begin. 

Using real world objects like pizza can help your students make the connection between a whole and its parts as they begin to learn about partitioning shapes.
I like to use relatable real-life examples here so that it is easier for my students to understand. What's more relatable than a pizza? Plus, they come in shapes of circles and squares so they are perfect for our lesson.

I usually have a pizza box on hand to grab their attention. I tell them that a parent brought a few whole pizzas to the class, but we need to figure out a way for everyone to have a piece. We talk about how we can do this. Side note: it's always fun to have a pizza party at the end of the lesson. 

You can either draw a pizza on the board and partition, or divide it up, with your EXPO markers, or you can have a pizza copied, laminated, and cut out that you can manipulate with your students. We take our time here and have an in-depth math talk using words like half, quarter, and fourth. I include lots of examples using circles and rectangles. This is where students begin to grasp the concept of partitioning. 

Creating Parts and a Whole

Asking students to practice partitioning shapes with manipulatives gives them a great visual example of what the parts of a whole look like. It's also a great way for you to do a quick assessment on how well students are grasping the concept of partitioning shapes.Now, it's time to break into small groups and apply what we've learned. I love to get hands-on here and have my students create things. 

We use pattern blocks to create circles and rectangles divided into halves, quarters, and fourths. I walk around the room to ensure students are using the new vocabulary words they've been introduced to as they are partitioning their shapes. 

This is where they can really begin to connect the dots. They can see how to put a whole together and how to partition it into equal parts. 

After we come back together as a whole group, the students love to show off their newly acquired skills. 
They take turns partitioning shapes for the class. This is another chance for me to really hone in on those new vocabulary words and make sure they have a solid understanding of a whole, parts, and fractions.

This activity is great for hitting several areas such as discussion skills, critical thinking skills, and even speaking and listening skills. 

These Mega Math Practice activities are perfect for helping students master partitioning shapes and identifying fractions.
From here we move into more practice using the Mega Math Practice activities.  These no prep practice activities make it so easy to provide quality practice on the exact skills my students need.  I love being able to target areas that they seem to be confused by or to do an informal assessment of their understanding after a lesson.

This set includes a variety of practice activities to help students with partitioning skills.  It starts by simply identifying the number of pieces and gradually builds until students are labeling fractions.  It's a great step-by-step approach to teaching these important skills.

Describe the Shapes

Now that we've modeled the correct way to describe the shapes verbally, it's time to get in some written practice. You can do this activity individually, with a partner, or in a small group. I assign each student, or small group, a picture to write about. 

Asking students to describe an image of a partitioned shape will help them understand the vocabulary and get in some writing practice at the same time.
For example, the picture may be of a circle divided into three parts with one part shaded. Students will need to realize the circle is made of 3 parts to create the whole and one of them is shaded. When they write their short paragraph they will include vocabulary words such as part, whole, half, third, third of, etc. It's a great idea to have them list the attributes of their shape as well for a good review. 

Using all of their prior knowledge of shapes, their attributes, and their new partitioning skills, students can produce some very well-thought-out paragraphs describing their shapes. The kids really seem to enjoy this activity and it is a great way to make sure they have mastered the standard.

More Fun Practice Partitioning Shapes

Partitioning Shapes Mega Math Practice has everything you need to continue practicing and reinforcing these skills. The resources will give your students tons of practice defining the shapes and creating divided shapes. 

The activities can be used for whole group, small group, math centers or stations,  or virtual learning. The possibilities are endless with this versatile resource.

Use these fun and engaging partitioning shapes activities to get your students on their way to understanding parts of a whole.

I love using these pages during our "written math practice" time. If you've been around for a while you know that I use 'guided math' in my classroom and have for years. This method is truly effective and works wonders for me and my students. Implementing resources like this one only enriches the process.

So, how would it sound to have everything prepped and ready to go for you to teach all of the Common Core Math Standards? That's just what my Mega Math Practice Bundle allows you to do! It covers all of these standards:

  • Numbers and Base Ten
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Geometry
  • Measurement and Data

It is jam-packed with over 430 pages of digital and print practice activities for your students. There's more than enough for students to have guided practice and independent practice for ALL YEAR LONG! 
This year long bundle of Mega Math practice has everything you need to cover all of your first grade math standards this year.

Save it for Later

Be sure to save this pin to your favorite math Pinterest board for fun partitioning shapes activities you can use in your classroom.

Use these fun and engaging partitioning shapes activities to get your students on their way to understanding parts of a whole.

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