Friday, June 8, 2012

Adding Up Fractions


Today I have a little freebie for the older kiddos.  This is a simple dice game for practicing adding fractions with like denominators and converting improper fractions to mixed numbers.

Now, hopefully you recognize that this game is very abstract.  It is not a good game for introducing the concept of converting improper fractions to mixed numbers.  It is a great game for practicing the concept once the kiddos understand it.

So how do you introduce this concept at the concrete and representational stages?  Well for concrete learning, fraction tiles are a great tool.  You could make your own out of fraction strips, if you don't have the tiles.  To model an improper fraction, you will need more than one set of tiles.  Does that make sense?  A tile kit will only have 4 fourths, so to model 6/4 you'll need to combine sets. It's important that when they use the tiles to model the improper fraction, they make groups based on the denominator.  For example, to model 6/4 it would look like the drawn model in the next step, but you'd be using the tiles instead.

If you've read my posts about fractions before, you know it's all about candy bars.  In explaining improper fractions, we use a candy bar that is scored to easily break apart, like a Hershey milk chocolate bar.  If I ate 6/4, it means each candy bar had 4 pieces, and I ate 6 pieces.  So I ate more than a whole candy bar.  That's an essential understanding--anytime the numerator is bigger than the denominator, I ate more than a whole candy bar.

The next step is having kiddos draw models of improper fractions.  Again, if they are thinking in terms of candy bars, it is oh so easy.  For 6/4, their model would look like the one below.  They know that each candy bar has 4 parts, so they draw the first candy bar.  They shade all 4 pieces in that candy bar, because they ate them all.  They know they kept eating, so they draw another candy bar.  They shade 2 of those pieces, because now the model shows they ate 6 pieces.  They can easily look at the model and see that they ate 1 2/4 or 1 1/2 candy bars.  Magic!



How do these short little "I'll share a freebie" posts get so long?  Ha ha.  Anyway, here's the freebie!  Enjoy!





23 comments :

  1. I am your newest follower! Love all of your math resources.

    Shana
    Enchanted with Technology

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  2. Thank you so much! I know my kids will just love this next year. I will definitely be following you from now on :o)

    Sabra
    wwww.teachingwithatouchoftwang.blogspot.com

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    1. Welcome Sabra! Yes, it's an easy little game, but the kids enjoy it. :)

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  3. I love this! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  4. This is wonderful, thank you for sharing! I have learnt so much about CRA from your blog. I stopped by to say thank you for the work you do in helping us understand this and how to incorporate it and found another fantastic post.

    If you are interested, I posted about how I used CRA today and linked to your blog as well: http://happyausteacher.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/concrete-representational-and-abstract.html

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  5. Awesome activities to learn how to add fractions with unlike denominators and like denominators.

    Wonderful wonderful resources.

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  6. Thanks for the idea! I'm going to modify your worksheet a bit to make it work for multiplying and dividing fractions as well. We are REALLY struggling with these concepts in 6th grade!

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    1. It's always nice when you can modify something a little to meet your needs!

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  7. thanks for sharing! I have been following you on Pinterest and now am following your blog. just started teaching improper and mixed last week so this will make a good Friday game this week.

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    1. Oh good! I'm glad the timing worked out for you, Melisa. :)

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  8. Donna,
    How do I download the freebie? I clicked on it but I just got a larger view. I will be starting fractions when we return from break and this looks GREAT! Love your blog! Visit me too!

    5th Grade Tomfoolery

    Teri

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    Replies
    1. Click on the words "here's the freebie" just above the pictures. :)

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  9. Great activity. Can't wait to use it with my fourth graders. Thanks!

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  10. I absolutely LOVE your blog and freebies...TpT too! Do you have any smart board lessons?

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    1. Thanks so much for the sweet words, Kelly. No, I really don't do much in the way of SMART board activities. We have limited access to them at my school, so it hasn't been a priority. Sorry!

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  11. Thanks so much for the candy bar tip.... mmmmmm..... chocolate! May have to teach this one over and over again with my homeschooler. Your advice and products really do make a difference. Thanks so much for all you do here!

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    1. The candy bar visualization has always worked for me! Thanks for the sweet words about my blog. :)

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  12. I teach intervention classes in 6th grade, and needless to say, fractions is a HUGE problem area. I am excited about using the chocolate bar examples to build their understanding.

    Erin
    http://brummettmath.blogspot.com/

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  13. I'm going to use this with my son over the summer to reinforce concepts he learned this year. Thank you so much!

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  14. As a 3-5 math teacher, I've become one of your biggest fans! Thank you for all the great resources!

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Comments make me smile! :)

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