I have the luxury of having iPads in my classroom. The app, Virtual Manipulatives! (VM), makes teaching fractions more interactive for students and it’s FREE!
VM offers students fractions bars at their finger tips to create and compare. Fractions can be written as percents and decimals as well.
They have to find a common denominator in order to solve. There are some algorithm steps to solving this but learning to model it first is key to understanding the “why“.
To model this example:
- Drag a 1/3 and 1/4 fraction bar
- Decide what both fractions can be set equal to; in this case twelvthes (1/12)
- 1/3 becomes 4 of the 1/12
- 1/4 becomes 3 of the 1/12
- Now add how many 1/12 there are
- Answer is 7/12
Additionally, the app can be used to compare fractions, decimals, and percents. (A common mistake I see in older kids is the idea of percents being the same as whole numbers. For example, some students think 25% is the same as 25. IT IS NOT!)
For a younger child, this is a great way to introduce the concept of having less than one. Taking half of something can be reinforced at a young age in many situations.
This app is a great tool for parents to help their child. Virtual Manipulatives! is a must!