Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fraction Fun.

We are halfway through our fraction unit right now (see what I did there?). My big goal in this unit, well with any unit, is to really make sure they learn the concepts but in a fun and hands on way. Fractions are usually cause for groans of "I don't get it" but I have found some fun ways to make sure the groans are because math is over for the day! Most of what I do addresses the concepts the units in the book cover, but in a more hands-on exploration manner vs worksheet way. 
We started the unit talking about the concept of fractions and creating our anchor chart together. It hangs near our work space and the kids do refer back to it all unit long to check concepts and to find ways to help themselves solve a problem.
To reinforce the concept of "fractions of a set" we made fraction kites. Each kiddo was given a 5x5 grid. They could use up to 5 colors and colored it in. They then had to write the fraction of each color. We gently touched on our fractions adding up to 25/25 - which will be a nice item to circle back to when we get to adding fractions next week.
For exploring the concept of fractions as equal parts of a whole, we used dominoes. The drew a domino. Divided the square into the number indicated in the denominator (the number of parts in our whole) and then shaded in the number in the numerator (the part of the whole shaded in). This also allowed us to learn the best ways to divide a shape - this can be a tricky concept for some kids.
Our gum ball fractions was also part of our exploration on fractions of a set. They were given a set of colored "gum balls" and had to write the fraction of each color. We also previewed comparing fractions in this activity, which we will truly address next week. *(I like to gently preview some concepts when I can so that when we get to the actual skill it's not so scary since they have some prior knowledge of the terminology and idea.)
One of my favorites! Number line fractions. I put a long piece of tape on the floor and write fractions on index cards. We then talk about where each fraction goes in relation to the whole numbers I have placed on the line. To start, I put 0 at one end and 1 at the other. Then once they get the concept of where fractions go on the line, we move into mixed numbers. They love this set of lessons, plus it's a great way to get them to line up for lunch!
After number line fractions, we move into benchmark fractions. Here I pull out the fraction strips and they use the strips to find out if a fraction is closer to 0, 1/2, or 1 whole. They do the activity and then we talk about what they discovered. They quickly discovered that the greater the distance between the numerator and denominator the closer to 0 (1/18th or 2/10th), if you divide the two numbers and get 2 it's close to half, and if the numerator and denominator are close together it's closer to 1 because it's almost one whole item (3/4, 6/8, etc).

I am loving being able to help a generation of kids not be afraid of fractions and love this unit, maybe most of all!
Little by Little

also...going to do a better job at promoting my Monday link-up!
come join the Good.Random.Fun. each Monday, right here!

12 thoughts on the matter:

Brea said... {Reply}

Those children are blessed to have you for a teacher! Making math fun could help set the course of their lives, really. So many find it intimidating, but it doesn't have to be that way!

carol l mckenna said... {Reply}

Important little things ~ fractions and such a creative teacher ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Gina @ Kleinworth & Co. said... {Reply}

So fun!!! My kids love fractions - it's when we got into advanced algebra that really threw them off. They seem to do okay when it comes to "you do this for this & that for that". When there are multiple formulas to find the same answer & remembering which one to use is where they get frustrated. But fractions- they soak it up.

Wish you were closer so we could all do math together - they would love all your hands on fun.

Kim said... {Reply}

You are a wonderful teacher! You always have the best ideas. I definitely grew up afraid of fractions. Glad you are working hard to dispel the fear!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

You make fractions fun!! I love fractions anyway but I bet they do now too.

Snap said... {Reply}

Those are some very lucky kids to have you as their teacher .... fractions are fun ... who knew???!!!!!!!

Renae of Simple Sequins said... {Reply}

You are a great fraction teachers. My Dad drilled us on fractions when we were kids!

Yes, I do agree that church is for the very best. and I usually do dress up, way up as in height and were my heels, but I would feel comfortable in the sneakers.

Once when young I visited a friends home before our church and I forgot to change out of my olive green sneakers and didn't notice until we were walking into the church. I was sooooooo embarrassed, I kept my feet tucked under the benches then entire time.

But these sneakers are half as fancy as some other plain ish Jane ish shoes. lol

Sharon said... {Reply}

You are making math so fun and positive for these kids! I'm always amazed at your creativity. And so much color and variety in the lessons, too :)

tiarastantrums said... {Reply}

love all your great ideas!! I really like the number/fraction line!!

Sarah Carletti said... {Reply}

Making math fun and active. If only I could have learned that way!

tinajo said... {Reply}

They are lucky to have you! :-)

Dara @ Not In Jersey said... {Reply}

I agree with everyone else - you are an awesome teacher!