fractions

Tangrams are popular for recreational math as well as for school math. Here are some layouts to make them from cardboards, link to (i) making a full set from one A4 sheet and (ii) various ways to use them.

This is inspired by the pullout on Multiplication in At Right Angles, Volume 3, Issue 1 where Padmapriya Shirali mentioned how the commutative, assosiative and distributive properties of multiplication can be verified visually. What appealed to us was that the methods were free from computation and could be used and imagined for any combination of whole numbers no matter how large. We got interested in exploring the properties of addition in a similar manner.

One of the most abstract concepts introduced in primary classes is Fractions. Unlike other number sets introduced until now (natural numbers and whole numbers), fractional numbers are not used for counting. They basically denote a proportion. There is much research and writing around difficulties in learning of fractions and also about its pedagogy. In this article, we shall focus only on some of the misconceptions related to fractions that children develop.

This article explains the concept of LCM visually, and also helps students appreciate why LCM needs to be used when solving certain type of problems and puzzles.

A fraction calculator that can perform addition, subtraction multiplication or division of two fractions. Simply enter the values directly into the corresponding locations and the answer will be updated in real time.

In this presentation, Swati Sircar from Shikshamitra demystifies recurring decimals - it hints which type of fractions generate them, how they are written and how to convert them to fractions.

The thumbnail cartoon is from Snodgrass.

Teaching Learning Material help visualize and understand concepts that could otherwise be difficult to grasp. Manicavassane K. shares with us his TLM designed to help students with the concept of fractions. This article was published in Thisaimani (Journey 2) - an APF-Puducherry District Institute publication.

The activity I describe here is one which I have tried with class 8 children. It proved to be an interesting investigation into the patterns in recurring decimals leading to generalization and looking at the reverse process initially through a trial and error approach followed by arriving at the procedure for rationalization.
Using Fractions, Odd Squares, Difference of Two Squares
Exploring different generative methods: Generating Primitive Pythagorean Triples can introduce students to number theoretic properties, enhance logical reasoning and encourage students to find answers to their ‘whys’.
 

Here is an activity on exploring fractions through paper folding.

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