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Ways to Make them FUN, Mathematics can be pretty intimidating for students. Throw in some fractions, and now you’re cooking the witch’s brew. Students definitely need to get repeated exposure to develop an inherent understanding of them, but let’s make the better part of this journey easier for them. Luckily for us, even fractions can be turned into a fun activity.
WHY YOU’D WANT TO MAKE FRACTIONS FUN
As always, making an activity fun requires a little bit of additional work for preparation. Now you may be wondering if it’s just better to use the already limited time to teach kids about fractions the conventional way; we beg to differ. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why:
Teaching fractions in the conventional way often fails to build interest. This is because it imposes fractions as work, something that students need to learn because it’s part of the curriculum. This neither provides a fathomable reason for children to exert themselves nor attach any positive feelings to the learning process. Instead, by adding a little razzle-dazzle to the learning process, we can associate positive feelings with fractions. So that students are looking forward to the activities they can do while doing fractions.
We’ve said it time and time again, a good learner is an active learner. By incorporating activities while teaching your students fractions, you consequently increase their participation. They no longer need to raise their hands if they know the answer. Instead, they are participating in finding the answers all the time. This also has additional benefits such as improving the student’s confidence and also allows the shyer students to showcase their abilities.
Kids generally have a short attention span. If you’re teaching fractions on the board with examples, you may even be successful in teaching core concepts. However, this is prone to losing effectiveness over time, especially as sessions become repetitive and span for more extended periods. Combating this is simply involves holding a student’s attention span and the best way to do this is to incorporate a variety of activities.
EASY WAYS TO MAKE FRACTIONS FUN
Compare to half:
One very intuitive way to let children learn fraction is to let them compare different fractions to a half. A number of activities can be arranged based on this concept. For example, a sticky note comparison. To do this, draw three columns on the whiteboard saying less than half, equal to half, and more than half. Now provide students with a bunch of sticky notes which have different fraction values on them. Based on what the students think, they can paste the note in the appropriate column. You can, of course, take liberties with this idea and use different shapes of different sizes and markings to donate fractions instead.
Use Real Objects
Another fun way to learn fraction is to incorporate real objects! You should be mindful of school regulations to what you can use, but as an example, you may use buttons of different colors or even M&Ms. Provide a group of students or a single student (based on the size of your class) with the object of interest. Ask them to count the total each of them has and then ask them to divide them according to color or any other visible criteria (such as shape). Now the students should have separated objects by color or shape. Using this, ask them to make fractions of the filtered objects based on the total they initially counted.
If you’re looking to increase the difficulty by a bit, you can get students to compare with a range of fractions instead of comparing by half. We still want to make the activity fun, so you can have printed task cards with different fractions on them to do this. Arrange students in groups or otherwise based on class strength and ask them to arrange their task cards in ascending or descending order. Comparing fractions is a difficult task, and by doing this, you channel the task’s difficulty into a puzzle game instead. You can even have students race against each other to see who finishes first.
Another very intuitive way of dealing with fractions is pie charts. You can use any circular chart paper and divide it into multiple sections. The divided section can then show what fraction it represents. For example, a chart divided in the middle shows that it represents two halves, a chart divided into 8 parts shows that each section represents one-eighth. You can keep dividing the charts with different fractions for a range of difficulty. Either way, the visual representation of dividing a complete pie chart into different sections is a very easy way of demonstrating how fractions work.
As the name suggests, it’s bingo with a fractional twist to it! Teach your students strategy and mathematics in the same draw. For the educational part, you don’t want to give your students a written expression; instead, give them circles divided into sections. Using these circles, they fill their bingo board and try to be the first to get five in a row. Of course, they will need to understand what circle conforms to what fraction!
READ MORE: WHY IS FACT FLUENCY IMPORTANT?
Ways to Make them FUN DO YOUR HOMEWORK
As an educator, you really want to put in the effort that benefits your students the most. Doing activities can often be cumbersome as it takes a lot of preparation time on your part as a teacher, it may even eat a chunk of your free team. We can sympathize with your peril, but we also want to remind you that the effort you put in for your students is never forgotten. Students will always remember the teachers that made their educational journey both rich and fun. It may be cumbersome at times, but it is a fulfilling job to prepare children for tomorrow.