Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fraction Freebie

As a math teacher, I have collected an assortment of fraction manipulative over the years. I have fraction pie pieces, pizza fractions, Cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, and fraction tiles to name a few.

However, my new favorite is sentence sentence strips. This year, I bought sentence strips for my students. A pack of 100 will make a fraction set for 20 students.

Let me tell you---I will be doing this every year from now on. It is fabulous!! The students are able to fold them and keep up with them much better than the paper strips I have used in the past.

As we made folded and cut each strip, I took the opportunity to lay the foundation for the purpose of the denominator. I asked: When we cut our sentence strip into 4 pieces what did we write on the bottom of our fraction? When we cut our sentence strip into 6 pieces what did we write on the bottom of our fraction? What would we write on the bottom of our fraction if we cut our whole into 100 pieces?

The size of the sentence strip fraction pieces is perfect for small hand to manipulate. Plus, they are thick and relatively durable. We were able to stand and move around the classroom to order and compare fractions. 
Comparing Fractions
What I like the most is that my students are able to use the pieces at school, and then take them home to practice.

Equivalent Fractions
With my 4th graders, I made halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and twelfths. We used a meter stick to measure the whole sentence strip (24 inches) Using a number line, we found each piece would need to be 8 inches long for thirds. Using the same process, we found each sixth needed to be 4 inches long. Then, we found each twelfth needed to be 2 inches long. We used a meter stick to marked off the inches before folding.
Cutting one-twelfths
For 3rd graders, I would suggest using one-whole, halves, fourths, and eighths. All of the fractional parts may be found by folding in half and half again. 

Over the last several weeks, I have been working on a fraction unit. I am so excited how it turned out. It has 60+ teaching slides designed to guide the students as the explore fraction concepts. It also includes a couple of daily fraction printables. Click here to get a free printable. This printable is perfect for displaying on an interactive whiteboard. 

I also created a set of Spanish and English Fraction Cards for our EL students eager to learn fractions.