Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fractions are Half the Fun (This is Math?)

This week I have just a few ideas to introduce fractions.  Well, halves.

Have you ever watched "Finding Nemo"?  The sharks' pledge includes "Fish are friends, not food".  Well, in math you may have to repeat this pledge:

  "Fractions are our friends". 

Granted, some friends are difficult.  Some are hard to understand.  But we are loyal to friends.  We like our friends.  And SOMEDAY you will be glad that fractions are YOUR friends.

Some of the activities I included today would be good in the car. You know when.  Kids start to whine.  Mom starts to whine.  Mom can start the "Even or Odd" game by calling a child's name and a number and asking "Even or Odd?"  (Hint: a number is even if it ends in 2 or 4 or 6 or 8 or zero)(the zeros might be hard for the kids - but you can teach that even if you are driving the car!).  If your clever child gets too complicated for the others - say that the numbers have to be less than ten!


I believe you should be able to copy this Tic-Tac-Toe board and paste it to a word processing document. Each student should pick THREE squares and then complete each task in each of those squares.  They might want to try make a tic-tac-toe.

Count by twos.
(Older children count up to 100, youngest to 10)
Start at 50 (or 30 or 100) and count by twos BACKWARDS.
Play the “Even or Odd game.  “It” gets to choose a number and the contestants decide if it is even or odd.  If the contestant is right, they become “It” and ask another contestant.
Roll two dice.  First one represents the tens digit in a number, second die represents the ones digit.  Write the number.  If it is even, what is half of it?
Give each child a pile of small toys like toy bricks, stuffed animals or blocks.  Ask them to put them into two equal groups.
Learn how to deal cards with just two people playing cards.  Count how many cards you have after they are dealt.  How many cards are there all together?
(Remove the face cards & call Aces “one”) Play “War” with just two people.
Play the “Halves” game.  “It” gets to choose an even number, the contestants determine what half of it is.
How can you divide an odd number into halves?  Practice this at snack time or dinner.  5 cookies, 2 people?  15 crackers 2 people?...  How many potatoes so everyone gets one half?


Repeat after me: "Fractions are our Friends"
CathyH

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