One candy bar, twelve pieces, 2 friends. If you had to divide the candy bar into equal pieces for each of the two friends, how many pieces would each person have? What if another friend joined them? How does having an extra person affect the amount each person receives? Then another? Then two more friends come along. How many friends are there and how many pieces would they get? Do they each get a whole piece? What part of the whole does each person get? What is the fraction for each person? What does a fraction represent? How do we add them together to account for the whole? These are a few of the fractions questions that the students in 4B had to act out as we began our Fraction Unit.
When I asked the class what they liked about the activity they responded with statements like “It’s fun to do investigations!”, “So much better than worksheets!”, “It really made me think.”, “Now, I can act out problems in my head and make them more real to me”.
Our class will be learning more about equivalent fractions; adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions; and changing fractions into decimals and percentages. The students enjoy working with all kinds of manipulative from paper cut-outs to paper plates to Legos to real chocolate bars. I challenge them to find “real world” applications.
So, parents beware! Think about how you use fractions in your everyday life. Your students will be asking you!
Van Allen Elementary