Saturday, 7 March 2015

Folding fractions

Fraction Fortress was good for building up familiarity with fractions. But Year 4 will need more soon. Last year we used Cuisenaire rods and made fraction flags. What will we do this year? Estelle mentioned fraction faces. That's a nice idea.

And then I saw somewhere (where?) the idea of folding a square in different ways to make different fractions. I like that. Different ways of getting a half. A quarter. That seems worthwhile. And gives a space for children to explore in.

I saw this great page on folding fractions too by Rachel Thomas at Plus Magazine. It shows a way of folding a third that young children are not going to discover.
Thirds are usually a bit of a surprise to 8 year olds. They don't get to see them very much; so it's worth meeting them in various ways, including this one, even if they don't see why this is a third. It's easy to fold too, just three folds.
 And you get a ⅜ thrown in free too. And that other fraction, whatever it is (that would be a good one for older kids).
I thought I'd try a fifth too,. I started by halving the paper like this, and then folding over a quarter:
- - - That's neat - the orange part is a half!
Anyway, do that four times and you get:
And in the middle is a fifth. There's a neat visual demonstration of that. It would be worth seeing what else the children notice about that last picture. What do they wonder too? (There are some good fractions here for older children to work out too.)
That seems like a good way to spend half an hour.

Another idea: fill up those Cuisenaire rod squares in different colours to show different fractions.
The hundred would do halves, quarters, fifths well. The 36 square would be good for halves, quarters, thirds, sixths. And so on.

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