Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fractions are SWEET! (and a mini-freebie!)

This week we started studying fractions, and whoo-hoo are my babies loving it!  I'm so proud of them! We started with the basics of 1/2 and 1/4 fractions.  To help them physically see fractions in everyday objects, I treated each student to a graham cracker.  I gave the students a piece of construction paper that was creased in half and labeled on each side and challenged them to figure out how to put the exact same amount of graham cracker on each side.  I loved that some students broke their crackers the "short way" while some others broke theirs the "long way"!  We were able to discuss that both were correct forms of halves and that was because they both showed one piece out of two equal pieces.

Next, each student was given a piece of construction paper that was divided into fourths.  I asked the students to figure out how to divide their crackers so they had four equal pieces.  By now, we were really rolling!  Some of my budding mathematicians even made the connections that 2/4 was the same as 1/2! 

The next day, we reviewed what we knew about halves and fourths and then discussed thirds, fifths and sixths.  I explained to the students that any number could be the denominator as long as all the pieces were equal, but these are some of the most common fractions.  These would also be the fractions we would use in our Ice Cream Fraction Craftivity!

To make it fair and still ensure all students were understanding what different fractions were, I wrote the numbers 2-6 on scrap pieces of paper and put them in a bucket.  The students drew out a number and that became their denominator for their Ice Cream Fraction Craftivity.  

We then decided on the flavors of ice cream they could choose:
Pink - Strawberry
Green - Mint Chocolate Chip
Orange - Orange
Purple - Berry
Brown - Chocolate
White - Vanilla

Then I put them to work to make their fractions out of ice cream scoops (each scoop was an equal piece of the whole ice cream cone).  The kiddos were very thoughtful in their ice cream flavor selection and were mindful of what they wanted their fraction cones to look like. (I wonder if if they would be this thoughtful about all their classwork if I tied the lessons to desserts...)  After carefully cutting and assembling, each student wrote what his or her ice cream cone was made up of in terms of fractions.

Aren't these just so sweet??  (Haha, see what I did there? Sweet art work...sweet treat!)  We had so much fun working on these today and I know my little ones are understanding fractions quite well after our hands-on activities.

Want to make your own Ice Cream Fraction Craftivity?  Click here or the image below for your own copy of the recording sheet!
(font by Learning Tree/Kimberly Santana)



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