Suggestions for Fractions Manipulatives (not c-rods)?

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My ds 9 is starting to work on fractions and is struggling (we are using MM 3B and Miquon). He really needs to "see" the fractions and so I think manipulatives always work well for him with math. I have tried to work with the c-rods but he really gets caught up on the number of the rod and can't see it as a whole, for the purpose of working with fractions. For example, if I use the brown 8 rod and want to show him 1/4 - he can only see it as "2" - he gets that is it is 2 of 8 but I think if we used something that didn't have other numbers associated with it, it might be easier for him to understand. Does anyone have any ideas for a good set of fractions manipulatives?

Thanks

p.s. we love c-rods for all other types of math :)

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I wasn't pay attention when it came to fractions and ended up have to draw on a piece of paper the base ten form & also cut up a piece of paper, when teaching my daughter. She didn't seem to mind. Once when I got up into the higher fractions (16ths), I used a Hersey's chocolate bar, let her manipulate all the little broken-off rectangles of chocolate for about 15 min, then eat them.

Since then we've used little felt cut-ups (four small red felt squares become 4/4 ... etc).

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I really like the Rainbow Fractions Tiles from Learning Resources.

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Right Start has a wooden fraction puzzle. I plan on using that with their fraction games, even though I'm no longer using RS.

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A Hershey bar is great, unless you eat it.

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Also, don't forget food. Kids LOVE food! Brownies, pie, pizza....you name it. Nothing some food and a knife can't handle!

Faithe

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I like fraction circles. I prefer unmarked manipulatives.

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We have Fraction Tower cubes from Learning Resources. They work as well as anything. They show fractions on one side, the decimal on another, and percents on another side. This way we can compare different ways of showing the same amount.

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There are many different ways to visualize fractions, and it helps for a student to learn them all. I posted a game for that on my blog a few years back:

In general, for working with fraction problems, I find it most useful just to draw a rectangular bar to represent one whole thing and then to divide it as needed for the problem --- sort of a pictorial, scratch-paper "manipulative".

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I really like Math-U-See's Fraction Overlays.

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My fourth grader enjoyed using the circles from donnayoung.org.

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I like fraction circles. I prefer unmarked manipulatives.

This is what we have and the girls can easily grasp the concepts with them.

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Guest hollow has some free printable fraction pieces. I also second MUS fraction overlays.

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We have the circles & tower cubes. We use each for different concepts.

A Hershey bar is great, unless you eat it.

Actually, a Hershey bar is awesome because when you are done, you GET to eat it. (Works wonderful for really cementing the idea of which fractions are greater. Only rarely do I end up with the bigger portion because they learn this lesson well.)

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I'd divide up your food as you eat or prepare it. For example, gazing at 8 pieces of pizza, if each of 4 people has 1/4, then they get 2 slices. How about a plate of cookies, or cutting a potato in sixths, or an apple in half. You can also scale a recipe: take a giant recipe and make 1/2 (or 1/3 or 1/4) of it. Make a big batch of bread dough and cut it to smaller pieces to make rolls. It seems like this would accomplish about as much as a manipulative, only it wouldn't cost anything extra, nor would you have to wait for it to arrive.

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I love Fraction stacks, because my son saw very quickly why you would want to find a common denominator to add or subtract, and why it was legal to do so. He could see the concept of "the denominator tells you how big the pieces are/how you divided your whole, and the numerator tells you how many pieces you have!"

Measuring cups are good too (liquid measures... Add 1/4 c to 1/2 cup, how many quarters??).

A 12" ruler is terrific, or a series of paper 12" "rulers" you make yourself that can be colored, written on, or cut. 12 is a great number to practice with, since it divides by 2,3,4 and 6, allowing for many fraction possibilities. If you cut it 12x1 (I suggest inches rather than cm just because a 1x1 cm square can be hard to manipulate) you can make unit squares to play with.

A paper plate is excellent when cut like a pie.

Cover a practice clock and tie 1/4 and 1/3 hr blocks to units of time.

A big pile of colored pencils is fun. Mary gave away 1/3 of her colored pencils. She broke 1/4 of those that remained. She had 20 colored pencils left. How many pencils did Mary start with? Give your child a bucket of pencils and encourage him or her to figure it out.

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If you're using Miquon then there are instructions in the Lab Annotations for making your own fraction circles. I also second the chocolate bar. We use the Hershey's Fraction Book. You can also learn fractions on a number line. Find fractions using a pile of coins. (take a dollar bill and place the quarters, dimes and so on under). Use a clock and talk fractions while learning time. I have even been known to mark on a few c-rods. There's a game called Pizza Fraction.

He may be able to start Key To Fractions as well.

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