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• # Big Picture to Small Picture

Posted by on January 21, 2020 at 3:12 pm

The students I teach are strong kinesthetic learners.  Minipulatives sit out on the tables for the students to use.  They way they learn best is by seeing the big picture and then working towards the small picture.  I am getting ready to start fractions with my 6th graders. Any ideas on how to appoarch this difficult subject with my low level learners?

3 Members · 3 Replies
• 3 Replies
• ### Mary Manske

Member
January 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

Have them fold fraction strips. My sister does teacher workshops on fractions in Wisconsin (she’s getting her PdD) and that is her number one advice–and we make our freshmen do it now. No /7 or /11, but all the rest–I just do 1″ strips out of colored paper and a mountain of scrap paper ones for practice. We start easy with 1/2 and they all think its a cake walk. /4 is not bad, neither is /8. /5 are the worst. I hate them too.

We use them to talk about equivalent fractions, common denominators and especially comparing. Many of my students still don’t know what a fraction actually is (I know because they finally figure it out and are so excited they tell me) so we decided that we care about what we call the Big 4 comparisons. So they can’t compare any set of fractions but they can much more quickly (and without calculation) compare most. We don’t really do operations, but they are good for adding and subtracting fractions as well.

The folding is surprisingly time consuming, but I think it really loses value if you just give them a diagram or have them cut & color. There is something about recalling how you had to make four equal pieces for it to be fourths is a lot more valuable than someone just telling you that. They can’t write on them either, besides blacking the lines–if you want to know which one it is, count it. Once we have them all folded, they are really helpful for the students–we are reviewing for finals now and kids had them out to review. And some of the review materials were out during my AP and a junior who had me a freshman was writing on the board–“I don’t have my strips anymore so I have to draw it out” It really stays with them.

<font face=”inherit”>The game fraction formula is really </font>great as well (for any age–I’m a mom to 4 year olds and they LOVE it but my high schoolers who are fraction averse got into it too).<font face=”inherit”> </font>

• ### Ann Hough

Member
January 27, 2020 at 3:25 pm

Thank you very much