Fantastic fraction Fun
Halves, Wholes, Fourths, Thirds, what's up with fractions? I was shocked to learn Common Core Standards do not introduce fractions until 1st grade with the concepts of halves, thirds, and fourths. Then in 2nd, it's practically the same standards, and then BAM, in third grade they have to "explain equivalence of fractions." Wow! What a big jump! I guess, that's another reason why students struggle with fractions.
I think early fraction concepts can be taught as early as pre-kinder. And you know what...I bet most teachers in pre-k do....just simple examples...math words. (I mean my early 3 year old knows what half of an apple is and I don't do anything 'special' with him--'just talking the talk') C'mon standard gurus :) Maybe it's a time factor..teachers already have so much to teach. What do you think pre-k teachers? I just think the expectation in third is such a big jump...hmmmm.
5 tips for teaching fractions:
1. Use real-world examples; this helps all children, especially our English Language Learners. This chart highlights what I think are the Top 25 Tools and Foods to teach fractions. Which you can get HERE.
2. Have the students move--call out items that they are wearing-go to the north of the room if you are wearing red, NE corner of the room if you have a sister, etc. As they move, show fraction in written form.
4. Write the vocabulary in a personal math vocabulary book or journal. Something I find helpful is to write the vocabulary word on an index card-for example: denominator, then, have a student write the definition and example on the other side, and hang index card above a table group. When I call table groups, instead of saying "table 1 or red table," I use vocabulary. So for example, "the table that has the word denominator above it, please join me on the carpet, etc." Then I make sure to quickly go over the definition.
5. Have them construct models or examples of fractions.
Fractions can be fun! Students just need lots of practice and exposure to vocabulary because (besides half) we just don't go around talking about fractions...like saying I'll take 7/8 of the burger. HAHA!
I have so much fun with fractions, I want you and your class to have fun too. I created a menu to practice fraction skills. This 26 page packet is aligned with common core standards and provides hands-on practice, isolated practice with a worksheet, embedded practice through problem-solving, and reflection through math writing prompts. You can find Fantastic Fraction Fun through A Modern Teacher's Teacher Pay Teacher's Store.
And just for fun....here are some pictures of real-world examples of fractions or you can check out my pinterest board dedicated to pictures of fractions.