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Heidi or Trina or any other teacher/tutor

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive March 2007: Heidi or Trina or any other teacher/tutor
By Colette on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 03:40 pm:

can someone give me a real simple way to teach a very upset and confused 4th grader (mine) how to add fractions like - 1/4 + 1/3? She is not getting it and I am not explaining it correctly to her. tia

By Yjja123 on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 03:48 pm:

Try the pizza fraction game. It made the connection for my kids.
A great web site

By Melanie on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 04:45 pm:

I am not sure how simple this will sound typed. :)

In order to add fractions, the denominators have to be the same. So you have to find a number that both denominators can divide into. In the case of 1/4 and 1/3, both the 4 and 3 divide evenly into 12.

So now the task is to change the fractions so they both have a denominator of 12 without changing the value of the fraction. To make a 4 into 12, you must multiply it by 3. Whatever you do to the bottom number, you must also do to the top number. So now multiply the top number (1) by 3. Your new fraction is 3/12.

Do the same with 1/3. Again, we are looking to make 3 into 12. To do that, multiply 3 by 4. Do the same to the top (1x4). Your new fraction is 4/12.

And now you are ready to add the fractions. 3/12+4/12=7/12. This cannot be simplified, so this is your answer.

Again, I don't know if that comes across simply enough typed. But I hope it helps a little. :)
And tell her to just relax. At some point, it will all click and she will have that "Aha!" moment where it all suddenly makes sense.

By Dawnk777 on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 04:57 pm:

Fraction Help

Melanie explained it very well!

By Mrsheidi on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 05:37 pm:

Do as Melanie explains and make sure the fractions are lined up vertically, like the 1/3 and 1/4. set up the "new" fractions with the same denominator next to them, vertically. then add the numerators.

above all, at each step, ask if she has any questions or say "do you understand where i got this?" go very very slowly and don't procedd until she understood how you got the denominator. then, show her how you multiply. stop, ask her "do you understand how i got that?"

and practice practice practice!!!!! sometimes it helps to just practice the steps, individually. so, you could practice the common denominator for a while, then the multiplying, then the adding, etc.

By Colette on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 06:01 pm:

thanks ladies!

By Kaye on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 07:39 pm:

Another way to maybe make it click is use money. One dime is 1/10 of a dollar, a quarter is 1/4 of a dollar etc. Sometimes getting to actually trade out money will show her a bit. Why do you need a common demoninator? Well would it be fair to trade dimes for quarters, so how would that work? general if you can find some hands on ways to demonstrate it, along with the great advice above it will click!

By Dawnk777 on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 09:14 pm:

We had Math Workshop, when my kids were younger. They had a "Rhythm Shop", where you had to make the fractions bigger or smaller and then divide them up the right way, to make the rhythm happen. It was a fun way to work with fractions. In fact, I think I liked playing the different games in it, as much as the kids did. I don't know if they make it anymore, though.

By Reds9298 on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 09:21 pm:

Ditto Melanie and Heidi! Great explanations. :) Good luck!

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