For whatever reason, many students struggle with fractions. It doesn’t have to be that way! Ruth Beechick always recommended beginning with the concrete and moving to the abstract: add four manipulatives (rocks, chocolates, crayons, spoons, erasers, etc.) to three manipulatives and determine the answer. Once your child has that down pat, then begin to work in the abstract where the four things are represented by the number four. And the combining process is represented by the + sign. So extrapolating to fractions, the same process can easily be accomplished by using the Visual Fractions site!
This interactive site has done all of the work for you. It is easy to use and comprehensive.
Topics covered will help students:
- Identify fractions as parts of a whole.
- Find equivalent fractions. (Can we please not call the process “renaming”? When you move into higher math you need to understand what you are doing!)
- Compare fractions and determine which is larger.
- Add fractions.
- Subtract fractions.
- Multiply fractions.
- Divide fractions.
If you are just approaching fractions, you can use the Visual Fractions Learning Guide to determine where to start and lay out the course. You can print out a progress chart to keep track of the lessons.
The Investigate Fractions page includes explanatory printables. The Fraction Designer takes you to an interactive that you can use to create your own problems. Also included are interactive games and worksheets.
Fractions are easy. Visual Fractions shows you why. Great site!
An Easy Start in Arithmetic by Ruth Beechick
Now included with The Three Rs, An Easy Start in Artithmetic includes an entire chapter on Modes of Thinking:
When you understand these three modes you can easily make numerous day to day decisions about teaching. Should your child learn to recite numbers to 100 now? Does she need drill on multiplication tables or more real-life examples? You can have confidence in making these decisions.
The three modes include:
- The Manipulative Mode (working with real objects).
- Mental Image Mode (images of object in head).
- Abstract Mode (using arithmetic symbols instead of objects).