Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Lesson 3 : Fractions

Through today's session, I had made "friends" with fractions. As I finally understood the reason behind the equation of 3/4 divide 1/2.

Fractions is meant by a part of a whole, but children would not be able to understand this unless they visualize how fractions work.

As children learn through exploration of concrete materials, by getting them to fold the paper into four equal parts and shading 3/4 of the paper is the first step of getting them to do hands on activity as an introduction to the lesson of fractions. 

The next step is to use diagrams to allow children to use pictorial aids to help them in their understanding of fractions. This is something new to me, as I always thought bar graph method is only used for problem sums. Never did I realized that bars can help me understand fractions too !  As I often associate pizza with fractions and I'm pretty much "afraid" of fractions as to me, it is rather complicated ! However, through today's lesson prove me wrong ..

How many are shaded?

With a glance, i do not need to count how many is being shaded,
and the answer is 2 1/4. This is because I see 2 whole parts are shaded thus giving me the answer of 2 whole number, while 1 part out of the 4 parts are shaded in which is the same length as the other 2 bars. Thus I concluded that 
2 1/4 are shaded.

Through this diagram, by thinking of different ways to take away 
1/2 from 2 1/4, it helped children to think abstractly.

As they had already explored with the concrete material and in this case, is the folded paper and shaded parts in it. And moved on to the pictorial aids by drawing the diagram. Now, by getting children to think abstractly, they are able to work out the math solutions.

In which for my case, I used the method of 

2 1/4 - 1/2 
= 9/4 - (1/2 x 2)
= 9/4 - 2/4
= 7/4

As 4/4 makes a whole, 7 - 4 = 3, thus it's 1 3/4.

Why do i need to complicate things further? It is actually simple as it looks !
The answer is actually in the diagram itself, I just need to draw some lines to indicate the half is being taken away.

Strike off 1/2 of 1 whole, and dissect it into 4 equal parts.

Rearrange the parts by placing the 1 part with the 1/2 to give a clearer picture.

And it is clearly stated 1 3/4 through the yellow shaded bars.

When I found out this new concept, I was relief of the stress as never did I thought it was actually this easy ! Through this, children are able to understand the concept of taking away 1/2 from 2 3/4.  Bid goodbye to complicated fractions !

Now I feel I understand fractions and I'm gonna make fractions my best friend and not to be afraid of it no more! 

I have googled on the web for DIY teaching aids to help children understand fractions better..

This can be made by the children as they engaged in concrete materials to understand fractions. 1 whole can be spilt into different parts.

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