Last semester Darah’s teacher sent home a note that she was noticing Darah avoiding her math assignments each day. She goes to a Montessori school so she has full control over the order in which she does her individual assignments each day, and in math, she was being introduced to fractions.
She did NOT care for them. And so, she kept saving that work to last and not finishing. But her teacher was on to her and got me in the loop, and within just a few days I had a fractions workbook waiting for her when she got home and we got to work! I told her that the goal was to go from being intimidated by what is hard to embracing a challenge and that by the end, she’d really quite enjoy fractions.
Yes, it was a tall order, but the workbook helped. However one one resources made the biggest difference of all, so if you have a child struggling with the concept of fractions (including adding and subtracting), I highly recommend a product Learning Resources recently sent our way called Fraction Resources Equivalency Cubes.
When these arrived I decided to simply lay them out on the floor next to the area where Darah would be doing a fractions worksheet. I left it up to her if she wanted to use them or not. She was able to get through the sheet without using them cubes, but once she was finished with her assignment, she immediately started taking the cubes apart, comparing sizes, and totally on her own, figuring out what combinations could produce towers of equivalent sizes.
Since the initial introduction, she definitely has been using the cubes while working on adding together fractions with different denominators. Getting to have a visual aid and something tangible to work with while her mind wraps around the (hard!) concepts is something that is practiced in Montessori education, and we love it because it is highly effective. I’m so glad to have a manipulative device here at home to help her work through this challenging math concept and make it much more fun.
The fraction resources equivalency cubes also showcase decimal points and percentages, and when those concepts come up in the third grade curriculum, these will be useful, yet again. They are reasonably priced at $19.99 and I can already tell they will be well worth that price, which is less than one tutoring session with a math coach around here!