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!
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.