## 08 April 2013

### Fractions

My kids love fractions! Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with how fractions have been presented to them. As with most math concepts, I like to introduce the fun part first, then move on to how we use the concept in everyday life, and finally get to the little less fun part of worksheets or curriculum. With fractions this works really well. The practical every day use of fractions generally means we get to go out for pizza as a family or make a cake. If you have gone over money already, it's easy to explain how money breaks down into fractions. The two sets of fraction manipulatives in the picture above were purchased from amazon and are both from the learning resources brand.

One thing I didn't realize when I ordered these is that the colors of the same size fractions on each set match up. For example the 1/3 size in both the circles and the bricks are red. This really helped Anara connect relevance between different shapes and ways to draw/write fractions. The bars also have the fractions written on one side along with decimals on another.

The fraction tower activity set can be purchased here. I paid \$13.29 at the time I ordered it.

The rainbow fraction deluxe circles can be purchased here. I paid \$9.35 when I ordered this one.

Fraction manipulates are not something that have to be purchased, they can easily be made. When Nia was this age she had circles, bars, and squares that came as part of workbook. They were card stock weight punch-outs. She had just as much fun, still loves fractions (in fact she played with these new 'toys' a few times herself, even without her little sister), and they worked just as well. I decided this was a worthy purchase for our homeschool for one main reason. Sania has always had a fairly delicate, gentle touch. My other kids, not so much. With the spacing of my other children's ages I would most likely be making fraction manipulates every year for the next 13 years. As long as I can keep up with these little gems, this purchase should save me a at least a few hours of measuring and cutting.

I did decide to make some fraction pizzas out of card stock, they seem durable enough where we may even get more than 1 years use out of them. I made 2. One broken into 1/3 size slices and the other into 1/4 size. The toppings are construction paper. Our whole house was delivered pretend pizza with toppings like blue legos and barbie shoes for about a week. I decided to keep the pizzas where the slices stay intact, but I've made this before where they come apart then used sticky sided hook and loop dots to adhere to a larger piece of cardboard for the whole pizza affect. I've never found a great way to keep toppings on when the pizza is pulled apart that way though. I knew a teacher once that made a simular set up using fabric. The pizzas were flannel and the toppings were felt.