Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Math Manipulatives: Fractions
My friend Becky is the queen of homemade games and manipulatives. Here is a practical idea for teaching fractions, from her house to yours.
Take your compass and make six circles, all of the same size, lets say about 4 inches in diameter. Better yet, have the children do it. If you use white paper, have the children color each circle a different color. If you have colored or construction paper available, you can skip this step.
Then using your ruler, draw a line down the center of one circle dividing it in half. Write in each section: 1/2. Cut along the lines to make 2 halves.
Take the next circle and divide it into thirds and write in each section:
1/3. Cut along the lines to make 3 thirds.
Take the next circle and divide it into fourths and write in each section:
1/4. Cut along the lines to make 4 fourths.
Take the next circle and divide it into fifths and write in each section:
1/5. Cut along the lines to make 5 fifths.
Take the next circle and divide it into sixths and write in each section:
1/6. Cut along the lines to make 6 sixths.
And leave one whole.
You want your new manipulatives to withstand the test of time and perhaps more than one child, so glue to cardboard (free) or to magnetic sheets (about $3 at the craft store). Store in a baggie or plastic container.
Now you have a fun and thrifty way to teach about fractions. Show your littles how 2 of the 1/6s is equal to 1 of the 1/3s. Or how it takes 5 of the 1/5 pies to equal a whole pie. And so on.
Gee, you could even color your circles to look like different flavors of pie and make it really interesting. Or better yet, make an apple pie for dinner tonight and throw in a lesson on fractions at the same time.