What are Fractions?

This Term we have been learning about Fractions.

We will….

  • Investigate equivalent fractions by exploring the relationship between families of fractions (halves, quarters and eighths or thirds and sixths) by folding a series of paper strips to construct a fraction wall.
  • Count by quarters halves and thirds along with using mixed numerals and locate and represent these fractions on a number line.
  • Investigate strategies to solve problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions with the same denominator.

Firstly we discussed what we thought a fraction was…

A fraction is a part of a whole. All the parts need to be an equal size. This is really important to remember, particularly when we are drawing the fraction.

We call the top number the Numerator, it is the number of parts you have.
We call the bottom number the Denominator, it is the number of parts the whole is divided into.

You just have to remember those names! (If you forget just think “Down”-ominator)

As a class we also looked at how to represent a fraction as a symbol, picture and in words. Below we completed an activity where we had to choose some fractions and then represent them in 3 different ways.

Our next activity was an investigation with halves. We were given many A4 rectangle pieces of paper and we had to fold the paper to create as many different halves as we could. All of us were quick to fold the paper horizontally and vertically down the middle.

However it took us a little longer to try and create other different halves. We all thought that there were not many possible ways to make a half from the rectangle.

We started to experiments with folding diagonally. We were reminded that it was ok to make mistakes and to learn from them. After a while we all sat on the floor and some of us were able to explain how we created some of our halves.

Mrs Baldwin then showed us a trick. If we drew a dot in the middle of the A4 rectangle page and made sure that when we folded the page that the fold cut through that middle dot then we could create a half. We soon discovered after this, that there are many different ways to create a half from the page.

IMG_1558 from skye baldwin on Vimeo.

Next we compared 3 different halves that we made. For example….

Mrs Baldwin asked the following question

‘Do you think one of your halves is bigger than the other? Can you rank them in size and prove your answer?

For those of us who believed that all the halves were the same size we had to prove this as well.

This was a great task because many of us changed our thoughts and ideas halfway through the activity because we discovered something while we were proving our answer.  Check out some of our thoughts below…

At the end we sat in a circle and shared our results. Some of us were very brave in explaining very clearly why we thought they were all the same or different.

We all knew that each half was a different shape, the challenge was were they the same size even if they looked different. Finally we realised that we could use a strategy where we could cut one of the halves into pieces to match the shape of another half. Using this strategy we could soon see and prove that they were all the same size. The reason for this was because they all came from the same sized whole to begin with.

Wow what a challenge and there was some deep thinking and recording happening in these lessons.

What have you learnt about fractions so far?

When have you seen or used fractions to solve a problem in life?

One thought on “What are Fractions?

  1. Dear Mrs Baldwin,

    What I learnt was that you can different strategy in fraction the butterfly strategy and the lcm.

    You would see fractions in school and other more

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