## Tuesday, March 27, 2012

### Studying fractions

Since December, we’ve deviated from the addition tables to work on other areas of math. For the past few months, we focused on fractions.

To introduce fractions, I used our set of fraction circles from Alison’s Montessori.  These are stiff plastic pieces, labeled from 1 whole to 1/10, and come in a really nice wooden case.  I was a little nervous about getting these, but have determined that they are WONDERFUL!  They are very study and are a more economical version of the metal fraction circles – a very practical choice for energetic hands.

First presentation:  Introducing the parts of a whole

For our presentation, I showed Aikman the box and the 1 whole circle.  I told him that this was 1 whole, and that it was represented by a 1.  Then I showed him 1/2, pointing to the 1/2 on the top of each fraction.  I let him build a circle with the halves, which came through normal exploration.  As he pulled out each piece, I said the name of the piece – one-half. As he built, I asked him how many pieces made a whole.

I initially thought that we would do just 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 and then stop, but he enjoyed it so much that he wanted to build them ALL.  So, I repeated the above step – build a circle, say the name as he built, and then asked how many pieces made a whole.

Second presentation:  Introducing the representations of each part

For our next presentation, I had Aikman trace each fraction part and label it.  As part of the presentation, I traced each image myself first, and then said its name/representation (ie one-half) followed by writing the fraction (1/2).  He then carefully followed suit for each of the fractions.  I reminded him that three 1/3 pieces made a whole.  At this point, I did not introduce the concept of more than one part of a whole (ie 2/3, 3/3, etc), but was reserving this as part of a follow-up presentation.

The cutest part, though, was that at the end of each lesson, I have Aikman write his name on his paper and put it away.  In the submission bin, this is what I found…

It’s it adorable?  And what thought went into correctly making the divisions for his name!  I don’t know if you can make out the numbers, but he correctly labeled 1, 1/2, and 1/3 under each letter of his name and within each partitioned circle!

Do you have other ideas for teaching fractions?  Let me know in the comments below!

I’m linking up to Montessori Monday and Math Monday.

Disclosure:  A special thanks to Alison’s Montessori for providing the fraction circles to us, as a part of the compensation from the December Alison’s Montessori giveaway.

Growing a Jeweled Rose said...

I love the fraction circle set! What a fantastic learning tool!

jmommymom said...

I've made my own fraction circles many times, but I think it would have been better if I had just bought some from the beginning. They are so handy.

Honey said...

I still think the cutest thing is him "fractioning" his name!

~Honey

Raising a Happy Child said...

It's great that you have materials that motivate your son to learn. It's cute that he applied his knowledge to his name!

Bamboo said...

I love his name - it made me smile :). We have an all-time favorite from when I was in the classroom and all 3 dc have enjoy it. It's called Hamburger Station. I describe it here:
http://eclecticlvng.blogspot.com/2009/10/mary-mary-quite-contrary.html

I'm literally in the middle of making some simple 3-part cards for equivalent fractions for fractions and decimals (mixed numbers). Do you have any ideas for materials for this? I had planned on going through the decimal manual presentations and the fractions (both from R and D) this summer but she got ahead of me :). Now I'm scrambling!

Bamboo said...

http://shop.montessoriforlearning.com/Fractions-Decimals-and-Percents-Materials_c28.htm

Leann @ MontessoriTidbits said...

Bamboo, I taught upper level math, and not sure how to go about teaching equivalent fractions just yet. He was discovering it himself the other day. At one point, he was adding cards that said 10/10 5, which meant build a whole using the tenths, except use one 1/5 fraction circle.

In a week or two, I'll be adding a printable for a long rectangular fraction set (1 whole to 1/12) similar to the fraction circles and squares.

For a season , I taught an elementary math methods course at the local university, and I taught adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions using pattern blocks. Maybe I need to reinvestigate those lessons....

LOVE the fractions/decimal visual image cards! Those are great!

:-) Leann

Sandra said...

Great post! When I read posts like this, I always want to "push" my daughter to do things Aikman is doing :) Alas, it will have to wait a little bit! His name in fractions is such a marvelous idea! Great job, great job!

Deb Chitwood said...

I loved reading about your experiences with the plastic fraction circles ... it's always great to know how the materials are in real life! And I LOVE your son's fraction name! :) I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

The girl who painted trees said...

I printed fraction circles but plastic or wooden ones would be much better. Bear loves working with them though, even if they are just cardstock. For equivalency we take for example a 1/2 circle and see what combinations can fit on top. It's kind of like working with cuisenaire rods with the Miquon books.

The girl who painted trees said...

Oh and his name was too cute. And I like your new header.

Rebekah said...

How old do you recommend starting work with fraction circles? You have reminded me that I need to incorporate more fractions into our math work. I think I will try to make a set of fraction circles.