Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Equivalent Fraction Game

WOW! Can you believe we're almost done with another year? I think I just became used to writing 2011 instead of 2010 and now I'm going to force myself to be writing 2012! Hope everyone is enjoying their time off or looking forward to the holidays - I know I am :-)

Anyways, I wanted to share with you a neat game that a coworker shared with me last year. If you students are like my students, fractions is a hard topic to understand. Especially equivalent fractions. She told all of us about this game and it's definitely a more tactile way to understand how fractions are equivalent.

Here's what you need:
*4 pieces of paper (all different colors) *pencil/marker
*scissors
Create the game pieces as shown. One piece of the paper is the whole, the next is split in half, third into fourths, and the last piece into eighths. Write the correct fraction on each piece. I like to do this one sheet at a time to avoid confusion. We start with the whole and lay all other sheets on top (whole, halves, fourths, eighths)
Here is the picture of the spinner made for the game. I usually make several for the students using thick cardboard or cardstock. Punch a hole in the center, place a brad in and secure a paperclip and you have a spinner!

Now the fun part on how to play the game - Lay all pieces down starting with the whole then halves, etc on TOP of the pieces you just put down. When finished, all you will see is the 1/8th pieces. Next, spin the spinner. Let's say you land on 1/4. If the 1/4 pieces are not showing, you cannot take them out from underneath. You can only take pieces from the top. The player must then think of an equivalent fraction for 1/4 in eighths. Once you begin to play the game, students see that there are 2 eighths for each fourth and 2 fourth for each half and so on. If they spin a fraction and the piece isn't showing or is not there, they lose their turn. The goal is to be the first person to reach the whole piece at the bottom. The first couple of rounds, I let me students use white boards to figure out the equivalent fraction and that could help for you. I love this game because you can have anywhere from 2 kids playing the game to 4. It's perfect for students who finish early and allows continued practice throughout the year on this tough topic.

Anyone have interesting tips on teaching fractions?

Happy Holidays Everyone :-)