Every Wednesday, we’ll be providing you three resources to teach a concept that teachers and parents have found requires a little more practice. Today’s resources are on introducing fractions.
One of the times I knew I married the right man is when our then very young daughter asked my husband,
“Daddy, what does the title of that book you’re reading mean, God created the integers?“
“It means that whole numbers are natural things. You can see 1 bear in the woods, 2 bears, 3 bears, but you never see half of a bear or .75 bears or 72% of a bear. Those are ideas. Going from whole numbers to fractions or decimals means going from concrete numbers, something you can count, to an idea of a number and that is super important.”
First of all, anyone with a graduate degree in physics who pauses in reading a book by Stephen Hawking to explain it at 8-year-old level is a winner in my book. He is also completely correct – fractions are often the first abstract concepts students encounter in mathematics and that is why so many people struggle with them.
Here today are a few resources for you to help your students, your own children or yourself. We mean free as in “free”. Feel free to use, modify or share with your friends.
What are fractions – can be downloaded as pdf or as a PowerPoint . Explains a fraction as pieces of a number divided into equal parts. Defines numerator and denominator. If you’re just introducing fractions, I recommend you start with this one. Includes buffalo.
EXAMPLES WITH ONE-HALF
What is half? – I’d use this example after introducing the concept of fractions. It helps to start with something concrete that students can visualize. Available on our youtube channel as a video , as a pdf or a Powerpoint, if you’d like to use it to teach in class.
Is one half fair? – You can watch this as a video on our youtube channel or you can download it as a pdf or Powerpoint. Because children are often very concerned that school (and life) should be “fair”, this video uses concrete examples with one-half to determine if the amount of work, blankets or leaves eaten by each deer is ‘fair’.
All of these resources, and many more, accompany our Fish Lake game. Available for Mac and Windows
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