BEST App for Modeling Fractions 

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!

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VM offers students fractions bars at their finger tips to create and compare.  Fractions can be written as percents and decimals as well.

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Here is an example of what a 4th or 5th grader will have to solve.  Adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.

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:

  1. Drag a 1/3 and 1/4 fraction bar
  2. Decide what both fractions  can be set equal to; in this case twelvthes (1/12)
  3. 1/3 becomes 4 of the 1/12
  4. 1/4 becomes 3 of the 1/12
  5. Now add how many 1/12 there are
  6. 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!

 

© MathMom.org

 

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