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Monday, September 30, 2013

Made For Math Monday *Visual Fraction plates*

I taught 5th & 6th grades for a number of years.  During that time I found that fractions, decimals and other associated concepts were particularly difficult for students because they were frequently not very comfortable seeing what the concepts would mean.

I got creative one weekend and made a cheap and easy to manipulate way of visualizing these concepts.  I have used them in the classroom and with my own children, so I know they have worked for me.

One day on twitter a question was asked about how one could help students with these concepts and I recalled my plates.  I knew I had them still (in my cabinet at work, though I'm sure there are a couple in my garage too) and I wanted to share them and how to make them.  (here ya go, Mr_Stadel)

First I take 2 plastic plates  (foam ones don't hold up and paper ones don't slide as well and they also don't hold up.  The plates should be different colors, and I chose the 6 inch plates.

 Next you will cut a radius into each of the plates.  Be careful not to go too far when cutting (with younger students this is definitely best done ahead of time)

Here I have made my cuts and slipped a piece of paper between the plates to allow you to see how they were cut.

slide the plates together at the radii.

Once together the plates slide easily allowing you to quickly create fractional representations, percentages, etc.  if you prefer, sliding the plates easily allows you to change the front color as well.

One the back I would mark particular angles on my own manipulative.  This allowed me to quickly generate fractions (etc) that I wanted students to be able to identify by visual inspection

I would have students keep their plates in their desks and when I had time left in a lesson I would have them take them out and show me 25% red, or approximate 3/4ths blue or show me what 90% red would look like.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this. I will share with my colleagues!!!!