Teaching fractions may be difficult for many parents. This next statement will be a tough pill to swallow. Are you ready? Many times when fractions are difficult for our children, it most likely is that we are teaching them in a way that they don’t understand. Let’s make learning fractions a little easier for our kids with practical hands-on and everyday life activities.
Trying to memorize all the rules that go along with fractions just doesn’t work so quickly with most kids. Even if kids actually remember all these rules and know how to get to the answers successfully, it doesn’t mean they actually “get” fractions.
Just take a moment to think about all the rules your child has to memorize when learning about fractions:
- Fraction addition – common denominators
- Fraction addition – different denominators
- Finding equivalent fractions
- Convert a mixed number to a fraction
- Convert an improper fraction to a mixed number
- Simplifying fractions
- Fraction multiplication
- Fraction division
- Comparing fractions
- Convert fractions to decimals
It can be easy to get caught up in the routine of getting these lessons over with. Yet, making them meaningful can really produce lasting knowledge your kids will need in their future.
You may not need to solve complex algebraic equations in life, but you do need to know fractions. You need them in cooking, telling time, determining discounts on sale items and more. Scientists and chemists use fractions when measuring the right amounts of solutions and chemicals or when doing experiments. A carpenter will shock you with how they can convert measurements quickly in their heads.
Helping our children practice fractions in fun hands-on practical ways can get them to improve fraction knowledge in no time. Understanding what fractions are and what they mean will help them “get” it.
Use these awesome hands-on fraction fun activities to teach from everyday life:
Learning fractions at lunch (or with food) Cut your lunch or dinner sandwiches (OR PIZZA, my favorite) into a variety of fractions for some hands-on yummy fun.
Number Line Practice with Paper clips Use colored paper clips to link together line fractions.
Lemonade stand business In this real-world no prep mini-project kids run a lemonade stand while practicing their skills at dividing fractions.
Building a Dog House In this mini-project kids prepare to build a dog house for their new puppy while practicing their skills at multiplying fractions and mixed numbers.
Sports Arena Day This real-world practice has kids spending a day at a sports arena while practicing their skills at adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators, multiplying whole numbers by fractions, equivalent fractions, and expressing fractions as decimals
Food with Fractions These recipes to cook with fractions helps teach your kiddos the practical applications for math.
Learning through Cooking Food prep allows for fraction applications in real-life scenarios.
The National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NTCM) explains that fluency with fractions is also required for many activities of daily life: following recipes, calculating discounts, comparing rates, converting measuring units, reading maps, investing money, and more. Research has shown that fractions require multiple opportunities with varying representations.
Worksheets will help your kids practice; however, a full comprehension may not occur until adulthood if a practical hands-on application cannot be demonstrated while they are at school age.
So, while your children are helping you cook, ask them questions like:
How many ½ cups of flour will give us the 1 and ½ cups of flour for this cake?
We can only eat ¼ of the banana bread slices today. How many can we eat? What is the fraction per person for how many we can eat?
While they are in sports, ask them things like:
Three out of the nine rugby players are not wearing shoes. Can you tell me the fraction for how many kids are not wearing shoes?
Let’s prepare our kids for the future, rather than teach them lesson after lesson hoping they grasp some things here and there? Some subjects, I get it. You can memorize the rules and move on. Yet, fractions are part of those real-life skills that we can surely apply to our lives as adults.
Are you looking for an award-winning math curriculum to help you teach fractions at home: RightSmart Math may be just what you need. Get more information about it below:
Using hands-on fractions games can help visual learners:
Learning Resources Pizza Fraction Fun Game, 13 Fraction Pizzas, 16 Piece Game, Ages 6+Learning Advantage The Original Fraction Dominoes – 45 Dominoes – Math Manipulative Game for Kids – Teach Equivalent, Adding and Subtracting FractionsLearning Advantage 4519 Equivalent Fraction Dominoes Game, Grade: 4 to 9, 6.5
Fractions Math Manipulatives:
129pcs Magnetic Rainbow Fraction Tiles CirclesLearning Resources Fraction Tower Activity SetDidax Educational Resources Magnetic Fraction TilesEAI Education Fraction Model MultipliersLearning Resources LER0615 Rainbow Fraction Tiles
Fractions Workbooks for Extra Practice:
Grade 4 Decimals & Fractions (Kumon Math Workbooks)Fractions Essentials Workbook with AnswersHow to Work with Fractions, Decimals, and Percents, Grades 4-6School Zone – Time, Money and Fractions Workbook – Ages 6 to 8, 1st and 2nd Grade, Adding Money, Counting Coins, Telling Time, and More (School Zone I Know It!® Workbook Series)Grade 6 Fractions (Kumon Math Workbooks)Fractions Workbook, Grade 5School Zone – Make Fractions Workbook – Ages 6 to 8, First Grade, Second Grade, Fractions, Math, Following Directions, and More (School Zone Little Get Ready!TM Book Series)Mastering Essential Math Skills FRACTIONS
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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