Math Topics - Fractions

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Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Math Topics - Fractions

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:55 am

jabec wrote:My 11yo DS is not catching on to fractions. I don't know how to teach them. Anyone know of some good printable manuplitives?

Or any other ideas?
We spent a LOT of time on fractions in about 7th grade. I think it was really time well spent. My son is a rising 11th grader and he knows his fractions. A few of the things we did back then:

1. I had an ancient game with plastic circles - with the roll of the fraction die, he had to try to put together complete plastic circles. I credit this game with really showing him that fractions which seem "close" are really not going to work. So if he rolled a 1/3, he could put two 1/6 pieces in, but he could not put 1/6 and 1/5, it just didn't fit. Things like that. I think it helped him realize that converting fractions has to be exact when doing conversions on paper, as well. I think you could do the same thing with a paper or plastic set you have on hand, and you can always use tape to put what you want on a regular die. I do think the physical "fitting together" does help convince some kids that fraction conversions must be exact.

2. I worked at Kumon at the time, and he did their fractions level that year. It involved spending about 20 minutes per day, every day, on drill pages. I think this helped him know automatically which fractions match, what fractions reduce or convert to, and what decimals are equivalent. It was painful at the time, but this has made advanced math much easier, I think. I think you could find these types of printable pages online or even do an online game for this. As I recall, our Quarter Mile Math has a fractions section, but I don't think we needed to use it so I can't be sure. (Note that he did Singapore 6 in 7th grade, so he wasn't doing as much regular math as the typical 7th grader doing Saxon. I'm not sure if this much drill would fit in or even be needed for the Saxon student.)

3. We had a fractions dominoes game, where you could match the "picture" of the fraction shape with the symbols and I think maybe the decimals. I'm sure you can find printable fraction dominoes online at places like Enchanted Learning. It wasn't something we played a ton, but I felt it was just a reminder/reinforcement that the symbolic fraction really did represent something physical.

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Re: Fractions

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:49 pm

jabec wrote: Anyone know of some good printable manuplitives?
when I want printable stuff, the first place I look is donnayoung site...
http://donnayoung.org/math/fraction.htm

next... a nice hershey bar (or Dove chocolate)
crackers
brownies...

measuring spoons and cups... count the stuff..

what about lego pieces? what about reese's pieces..
rows of chairs...
stuffed animals in a circle....
egg cartons...

segmented plastic math blocks? nothing like taking a block with segments, turning it on its side.. the smooth side is "1" and the segments are now the fractions... (great for those bar diagrams in singapore too)

money for some things.. not good for thirds. but..


not sure what exactly he isn't getting. is it Equal Parts out of Whole? how to add/subtract multi/divide? that might change the answer

pizza slices..... if you don't want to make real ones..... roll out playdough ones..

jabec
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Fractions

Unread post by jabec » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:07 pm

:) thanks lots of ideas...

He gets it great when we do cooking or "real" stuff, but when it comes to writing it down on paper it's totally gone. We are supposed to be adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Not all at once, but that's where he should be. He needs to grasp the concept that fractions, decimals, and percents are all the same- what their equilivents are, compare them and order them, etc. I had no idea how to help him understand. I've found a few pages and am making a Fraction Burger...I think we might be getting it.

We were doing Life of Fred, but he wasn't getting what he needed...

Thanks
Newbie to MFW.
Thankful for this board.
Using ECC for 6th grade DS, 4th grade DD, 2nd grade DS, Ker DD, and 2 yo DS.
(just using mix and match stuff for K, though she'll do as much as possible in ECC)

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: Fractions

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:21 pm

Money always works around here! LOL! I don't know why - maybe I'm raising a shopper.

The other night, dd was watching Shark Tank with dh. (Now there's a fun daddy-daughter date!) Based on the deal, the guy ended up making 35% of $6M. When dd asked how much that was, and since I was eavesdropping and can't keep my mouth shut, I told her that 35% was about 1/3. She immediately knew that it was $2M. (And was quite impressed with the silly invention that made the man very wealthy.) I have to use real-life things like that to make math work for my dd. Looking at a worksheet totally throws her, but if I can figure out how to relate it to money, even in round numbers, she gets it.

It's all that playing store in MFW1 . . . . heeheehee . . .

Converting fractions to decimals to percentages and picturing what that looks like can be challenging - even to some adults I know. I appreciate all the extra ideas on this thread. Love the idea of using Legos - they are so visual! (I have never forked out the money for segmented math blocks.)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Fractions

Unread post by MelissaB » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:39 pm

cbollin wrote:when I want printable stuff, the first place I look is donnayoung site...
http://donnayoung.org/math/fraction.htm
Great stuff! Thanks for that!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

cbollin

Re: Fractions

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:51 am

jabec wrote::) thanks lots of ideas...

He gets it great when we do cooking or "real" stuff, but when it comes to writing it down on paper it's totally gone. We are supposed to be adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Not all at once, but that's where he should be. He needs to grasp the concept that fractions, decimals, and percents are all the same- what their equilivents are, compare them and order them, etc. I had no idea how to help him understand. I've found a few pages and am making a Fraction Burger...I think we might be getting it.

We were doing Life of Fred, but he wasn't getting what he needed...

Thanks
I chickened out yesterday and wrote some ideas... but I don't know if you want to hear them or not. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to post them either...... but here goes...

I'm not on the LoF bandwagon for the exact reasons you are saying........ it doesn't give what is needed to teach computation. You have to add that in with something... either teach it on your own, or find something like Key to Fractions... I've only used LoF fractions as summer fun and to see what the buzz was on it... I totally understand your frustration. I don't know why there is buzz on this program........ you have to teach computation and that is not taught or practiced. LoF is a cute supplement in my experience to help with some concepts and word problems and applications. I'd say mileage will vary, but..... I'm agreeing with you that he isn't getting the instruction needed with that book. I've used that book at end of 6th grade as review time. Teacher has to teach the mechanics of it in some fashion. If you don't like Singapore Math.... try Key to Fractions.. or something out there that gives ...well.. 'nuf sed... moving on....


Right now, at age 11.... it is an abstract concept that fractions = decimals = percents. That's a tough tough toughie...... it's very abstract for 11 year old. It will come later to him...

What I did to help my middle gal on that? I bought color coded fraction tiles, decimal tiles, percent tiles. The key to is of course to buy from same manufacturer. The color coding on the tiles helped a lot to see equivalents and the bars of the tiles helped to see which is bigger and which is less.... in our case, we were using Singapore math, and they use bar pictures to help with fractions too. so it was a nice transition from the near black and white diagrams to color tiles in hand. I bought from local teacher store. I just checked and see rainbow resource carries a brand of these things.

I think it is easier to grasp those equivalency concepts with rectangles instead of circles. everyone will be different.

The next thing I did to help her? I just had to tell her the "over" bar in fractions can also be said as "divided by". Once I taught her that 1/3 is one-third and is also 1 divided by 3...... it helped. I let her use the calculator for speed on this to teach the concept. and so she could see the answer. Yes, we taught long division and all of that.. but this was more about the answer right away rather than process..
And then looked on our color coded tiles. It began to make sense. Then going from decimals to percents was easier when she was in late 6th grade, early 7th grade. Oh, I get it... percent is telling me the decimal is the hundredths and the little symbol with % is almost just like a fraction bar. (except we can't divide zero by zero)


I didn't rush percents. they were introduced and covered in Singapore 5B which she did in 6th grade. we solidified it in 7th grade.


hopefully the fans of kittens university don't get too upset at me.

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: Fractions

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:16 am

cbollin wrote:Right now, at age 11.... it is an abstract concept that fractions = decimals = percents. That's a tough tough toughie...... it's very abstract for 11 year old. It will come later to him...

What I did to help my middle gal on that? I bought color coded fraction tiles, decimal tiles, percent tiles. The key to is of course to buy from same manufacturer. The color coding on the tiles helped a lot to see equivalents and the bars of the tiles helped to see which is bigger and which is less.... in our case, we were using Singapore math, and they use bar pictures to help with fractions too. so it was a nice transition from the near black and white diagrams to color tiles in hand. I bought from local teacher store. I just checked and see rainbow resource carries a brand of these things.

I think it is easier to grasp those equivalency concepts with rectangles instead of circles. everyone will be different.
I'm hi-jacking a little, but THANK YOU! This is exactly what we need. I just checked out those tiles and they are perfect for Singapore - and for my dd.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

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