Thursday, 1 November 2012


 Welcome to the exciting world of fractions!

where the some of the parts can be exactly equal to the whole

@CapitanoAmazing next door had a really good idea - Fraction-o-rama! - an afternoon of great fun  activities focusing on fractions but using a range of different measurement experiences to show the link between fractions and the real world.

An awesome and inspiring plan!

Here's how it panned out...

The Plan

Fraction-o-rama was divided into 12 base stations, each station looking at a different fraction and a different type of measurement.

And at each station the kids were required to represent their fraction in three different ways:

i) as a fraction, perhaps involving finding a common denominator and converting to an equivalent fraction

ii) as a formal division operation, using the numerator and the denominator from the fraction

iii) as a picture or diagram of a real-world example, such as a clock, a calendar or balance scales

The Activities

i) 1/5 of 1 litre - for this, we only provided a 500ml jug to see if they could work out how much they needed to fill it

ii)  1/4 of 1kg - we started with a full set of weights for the balance scales but this was too easy. SO I took away all the weights except the 1kg weight. This became the highlight of Fraction-o-Rama for me and will be shown on my next post - something to look forward to.

iii)  1/3 of June - using a calendar to discover how many days in June.

iv)  1/5 of a minute - we used stop watches once we had calculated the number of seconds that would make up 1/5 of a minute. Then the kids were asked to see how close they could stop the stopwatch to 12 seconds.

v)  1/5 of 1 metre - using a long ruler and some strips of paper, the kids had to measure out 10 even pieces and make them equal to a metre before they identified 1/10 of a metre.

vi) 1/4 of $100 - we used a stack of $5 (play money) notes to see how we could divide $100 into 4 equal groups.

The next 6 activities looked at fractions with a number other than 1 in the numerator:

vii) 3/4 of 1km - we didn't get outside for this one but we had a map of a 1km running track and the kids were able to indicate where the runner would be after 3/4 of a kilometre

viii) 4/5 of a year - we had to shade the correct number of days on a calendar

ix) 2/6 of a circle - this required the use of a protractor and a ruler to divide a circle up into sixths and then shade the correct fraction. This was hard as we haven't done much with protractors yet but it was a useful introduction to how the work.

x) 4/12 of an hour - using a clock that is already divided into 12 parts - the hours - the kids showed how much 4/12 was on the clock face

xi) Making a pattern to represent parts of a whole - using a total of 12 pieces, the kids had to make a pattern that was 1/2 red, 1/6 green and 1/3 yellow

xii) Writing 75% as a fraction - by converting other known fractions to percentages, children were able to combine these parts to make 75%. eg 50% + 20% + 5% or 20% + 20% + 25% + 10% etc

So what?

The big reflection on Fraction-o-rama by the kids was that it was fun. They were able to see how fractions are applied in real-life measurement activities. And they also got to see how different fractions compare and combine with each other.

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