Thursday, May 30, 2013

Math Manipulatives and Fraction Art

I'm spending the beginning of the summer becoming more and more familiar with the CCSS for Math.  Fourth grade has a LOT of fractions, so I'm looking at what kinds of manipulatives we want need for the fall.  We don't have much, and we have $$ to spend for next year.  Any suggestions?  I especially like shopping through EAI Education and have already found a lot that our fourth grade team can use.

While I was thinking about it, I thought I'd take the time to go through an activity from this past year that I really liked (and I think the kids "got it", which is always exciting).  We worked hard on fractions and decimals- specifically how they are related and not just random math concepts we have to learn.

I had them do this activity- I gave them one hundreds chart and told them to create an artistic design.   The next day, I handed out another hundreds chart where we put the colors together (closer to base-10 style).  When they were finished, we figured out the fraction and decimal for each color and made a chart.  We talked about how even though both hundreds chart design looks different, there is still an equal amount of each color.

**This activity was easily differentiated based on how many colors I allowed students to use.  Some students were able to handle many colors/numbers, but some were still trying to grasp the concept and only used a few colors**

After our chart and "artwork" was finished, I had them practice adding fractions and decimals using equations and variables.  For instance, g + r = ?  (green + red = ?).  They would look at their chart and write the corresponding fraction or decimal for each variable/color.  They did GREAT!  I was so impressed with how well they were able to handle it. 

We loved this activity SO MUCH that I went ahead and made it into a center.  I made 24 hundreds grids plus worksheet pages for the fraction/decimal amount AND the variable equations to solve for each one.  

Sometimes we do this center on the Mimio and/or SMARTBoard {above}, and sometimes we do it on paper {below}...and sometimes on both. 

Either way, my students asked for this activity EVERY DAY.  

You can find this activity,  the Build-Your-Own Interactive Board, or the BUNDLE of both in the RTL Store!  


For the colored hundreds charts ONLY, you can find them {here}.  Let me know how you use them- I would love to hear more ideas!


1 comment:

  1. Very creative Math project! I bet your students enjoyed making designs. I especially like how you differentiated by allowing different number of colors used!