Monday, June 24, 2013

Cake or Book? - Fractions

There are truly endless ways to represent a fraction and knowing that, isn't it far more fun to have a cheerful way of thinking of fractions? Below are several projects designed to help teach students about equivalent fractions as well as a few ideas for how problems can be constructed using these colourful manipulatives.

The first is a rather simple piece that provides a few pie chart manipulatives for helping students measure equivalent fractions. The pies are divided into fourths, fifths, eigths and tenths.

Next is the bookcase. Using the transparent books, students can compare the lengths of different sizes of various fractions as they fill the shelves. A single dictionary fills 1/2 the shelf, but what about the entire case? Then it only fills 1/6. How many copies of "Treasure Island" would be needed to fill the case? The books can also be compared on a number line ranging from 0 through 1. On the final slide, students can practice adding fractions by combining the first two shelves into a single string of books at the bottom.

Finally, everything is better with cakes, and of course that includes fractions! Students stack layers of cake to create giant, teetering monstrosities of birthday merriment. A few "finish the cake" problems are included and the vertical alignment gives another concrete way of thinking about how fractions can be presented in day to day life.

Pie Chart Fractions -

Book Fractions -

Cake Fractions -

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