Teacher2Teacher Q&A #6302

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Using pattern blocks to understand fractions

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From: Karen Pollard

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001060811:45:15
Subject: Fractions

I teach fifth grade. I have found some wonderful books on teaching fractions using the Creative Publications company's books. One idea I especially liked..was to give the small green equilateral triangle different values. Then draw figures made up of different pattern blocks. For example...draw an outline design composed of hexagons, several rhombi, and/or parallelograms. The directions might be..if the value of a triangle is 1/2, what would be the value of this drawing. Or...if the value of a triangle is 1/3, what would be the value of this drawing? You might start simple, with one outline figure alone..for instance a hexagon..and gradually increase to a more complicated outline drawing. The student then must fill the drawing with those triangles to figure out the value of the shape. I always have my students trace the shapes onto the sheet and color with colored pencils. That way it's easy for them to see the equivalencies..and it's easy for me to check and grade. They love to color anything too!

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