Thursday, January 27, 2011

Math Links Fractions

Yesterday I thought Selena and I would have some fun exploring fractions. We’ve played with fractions many times during bath when I would unleash my measuring cups into the tub and also when she has helped me in the kitchen baking. I didn’t know if Selena truly had ever caught on to the concept of fractions though. Using an idea I got from Leah at Almost Unschoolers, I took a round piece of card stock, and don’t ask me why I didn’t get any pictures of this part of the lesson, I guess I was too busy teaching. Any way I cut the round piece of card stock in half, took one half and cut it evenly into different size fractions, we had 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16. I placed all these back together in a circle on the table. Selena spoke up and called it a pizza. I handed her a piece of paper with all the different fractions wrote out and asked her to look them over and tell me which size a piece of pizza she would like. She chose the 1/16, I thought she was falling for the same trick Leah’s younger girls fell for in thinking the larger the number the larger the slice, but she was quick to inform me that she picked this size as she doesn’t like pizza, so she wanted the smaller slice, before I could even show her which slice she would get.

I thought ok she understands that so let’s look at fraction terminology. I pulled out my measuring cups, and placed them on the table. I asked Selena to read what size the cups were.





First she had fun stacking them from largest to smallest. Then she began to read the fractions to me. Starting with 1 cup. She announced every size cup by looking at the numbers on them by saying 1/2 a cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup. At this point I could see we really wasn’t getting much of a lesson in but more of a review then anything. The one time when my student was one step ahead of me in the lesson plan. That’s ok though as we still have a lot of work with fractions down the road.

I am linking this up at Joyful Learner.

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  1. Great job Selena!

    I'm impressed.

  2. She did great! She is a quick learner so I'm not surprised that she was ahead of the game here!!!

  3. Very nice lesson. Interestingly, while Anna understands fractions quite well, she doesn't read fractions correctly in the recipe - when she sees 1/4 she thinks it means 1 and 4 more cups. We discussed it before, but maybe this kind of formal lesson would help her visualize fractions and words for them.

  4. Great job!

    Here's a fun fractions game that she'll love and she will know how to play. It's called Tic Tac Math Fractions:

    Non iPad,iPhone,iPod Touch, go here:

  5. Great activity! And great job Selena. She is so smart. I have really got to get back to doing some actual math. I had an idea for this week but haven't gotten to it yet. All we have been doing is in the kitchen while baking.
    I have an idea to extend this activity a little more. If it works I will post about it and make sure I link back to you as my inspiration.