So what do prime numbers, factoring, multiples and division all have in common? Why do we learn them?

Welcome to the second math block of the year! In the first math block, Sims worked on prime numbers, factoring, complex multiplication, long division and reviewing addition/subtraction. The second math block focuses mainly on, you guessed it, FRACTIONS! When I think of fractions, I mainly think how many parts of a whole. However, as I review fractions to teach them to Sims, I am amazed at how much more there is to them and how they bring everything we’ve done so far this year together,

First, we focused on the simple things such as how to name them. For a child with dyslexia, we had to focus quite a bit on the “ths” sound at the end of tenths and hundredths. Next we discussed all the places we casually use fractions in our daily lives; such as distance, cooking, filling the gas tank and of course money. In Montessori, we use circles and look at how to break up circles into pieces. In Waldorf, we use a fraction tree. Since we use both methods, we did both. Then, Sims took it a step further and made a fraction hand. I was pretty impressed with his idea and it worked well.

Over the next few weeks, we will begin working with fractions more in-depth. We will bring in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions. The fun of fourth grade math.

Fraction Hand

1, 1/5,1/10, 1/20

Fraction Tree with Roots

1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8. 1/16, 1//6. 1/12

Montessori Fraction Circle

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I’m currently doing fractions with my daughter using the montessori method. Thanks for the introduction to the Waldorf method. I’ll look it up to see which works better for her 🙂

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Yes. The Waldorf method uses a farm (I showed that in an earlier post) in which you have a rectangle divided into different rows and you split each whole row into different fractions. They also use the tree to introduce fractions. We have done both but the tree seemed to make it easier for him to see that 2/8 are the same as 1/4 for example. If you find another method, let me know-I have two more kiddos to teach!

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Thanks. I’ll be sure to let you know when I find a better method. She has difficulty understanding when fractions are added :p

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