For years, fractions have intimidated middle school students with their complex algorithms and meaningless rules. However, fractions are one of the most important and useful mathematical concepts students learn. When we approach fractions with meaning, context, and hands on play, students develop a strong conceptual understanding that takes the fear out of fractions. With our youngest learners, our goal isn’t to necessarily teach fraction symbols, but introduce them to the language of fractions (half, fourth, third), and to help them visualize these concepts with real world examples. As students enter the second half of elementary, these symbols are introduced and student investigate how fractions compare using manipulatives such as money, clocks, counters and fraction tiles.