## Thursday, May 17, 2018

### Hands On Fractions

My seven year old and I recently made a rain guage that led to an impromptu lesson on adding fractions. We were trying to add several days measurements from the rain gauge to get a total for the storm system. While my daughter knew a little about fractions from previous activities we had done, adding fractions was new ground. I came up with this simple hands on way to introduce the concept of adding and subtracting fractions.

## Making Fraction Cards:

All you need for this activity is a piece of construction paper and a pen.

Divide and cut your paper into 4 equal sections.

Using a pen, divide one of the sections into 4 equal sections of it's own, and label each section 1/4. This will be your example of a "whole".

With the 3 remaining sections, divide and cut them each into their own 4 equal sections and label each one 1/4.

And that's it, now you have a set of fraction cards you can use for demonstrating what fractions are and for adding and subtracting fractions.

You can use your fraction cards to demonstrate what fractions are. Show your child that four 1/4 cards make a whole and that two 1/4 cards make a half.

You can also use your fraction cards to add and subtract fractions. Give your child a simple equation adding or subtracting quarters and use the cards as a hands on visual. For example:

1/4 + 2/4 = ?

Have your child start by setting aside one 1/4 card and then add two more to it. It will be simple to see that 1/4 + 2/4 = 3/4.

You can also use them with adding and subtracting mixed numbers. For example:

1 1/4 + 1 3/4 = ?

Have your child start by setting aside enough 1/4 cards to make 1 whole and another 1/4 (5 cards). Then add another whole plus 3 more 1/4 cards. It will be easy to see that 1 1/4 + 1 3/4 = 3.

For adding larger mixed numbers, you can make more cards. You can also make other sets for other fraction families. Families with odd numbers in the denominator will have to be done on circle pieces of paper, cut into even "pie slices".