Monday, August 4, 2014

Student Created Fraction Strips Part 1: whole, halves, thirds, and fourths

Note: the picture above is the set I made with the students this past year.  In the photos below, I used different construction paper.  When I create fraction strips with students, I keep the colors consistent for each fraction each year.

Although I have a printable set of color-coded fraction/decimal strips that is a best selling item in my store, I find that having students create their own set by cutting, measuring, and folding, assists my students in understanding fractions.  I also know that they need meaningful reasons to measure with a ruler.

I keep the printable version for my math stations and have students keep a copy in their notebooks.

I start by cutting a set of 3 X 12 inch strips for each student.  (Some teachers want a laminator at home.  I want my own paper cutter.)
I reserve one strip to represent the whole.  We measure its length -- 12 inches.

Next we fold and cut the color we are using to represent half.  I have them measure the half -- 6 inches.  I ask what is 2X6?  Notice that I have cut one and left the other uncut.  I find that some students need fraction bars that they can manipulate.

Next we fold, cut, and measure the color representing thirds.  Each piece should be 4 inches.  What is 3X4?

Then we fold, cut, and measure fourths.  What is 4X3?

I do take time to have them write the words and numbers on each part.  As we use these to solve problems, it helps to have both. 

Next week I will continue with sixths, eighths, and twelfths.

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