Ratio Tables are my FAVORITE math thing to do and to teach! They are an invaluable tool for ALL students. They can be intimidating to work with at first and therefore, require practice.
Ratio Tables can be used for:
- Solving fractions (fractions are ratios!)
- Organizing your work
- Brainstorming how to solve a problem
The basics of Ratio Tables can be helpful later when your child is doing:
- Coordinate Planes
- All Fraction Operations
Here is an example of using a Ratio Table when working with a recipe.
Ratio Tables use multiplication and division operations. As well as adding and subtracting groups of ratios. You might see ratio tables more complex with decimals and fractions within them. I will show those next time!
Here is another example. This table shows equivalent ratios, which are the same thing as fractions. 4/6 is equal to 2/3 and 12/18 by scaling down (division) or scaling up (multiplication).
The COOLEST part of ratios tables is you can combine, or add, any equal ratios from the table, like 2/3 and 12/18, to get another equal ratio, 14/21.
I challenge YOU to try them!
As a mom of a busy toddler, I’m always looking for ways to engage him. My son loves to be challenged with scavenger hunts. Of course, I put a math twist on it!
Simply have your child go find math related items in their room. (This could be played at a restaurant or other location of the well.) Here is a list of ideas for kids to find:
- A certain number of objects
- Objects with actual numbers on them
Here are some other ideas to add to your game!
- Offer a reward such as a treat or 10 minutes of cartoons
- Make it a relay game by timing your child or setting up a running obstacle course as they find each object
- Make it a timed race against other kids
- Make it more of “Hide and Seek” with objects
Here is a printable of different 2D and 3D shapes! SHAPES PRINTABLE
Ready? Set? Go!
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.
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:
- 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!
I recently shared this video of my two-year old son doing a basic addition problem.
A good friend asked if he really knew what he was doing or if he was repeating what I said. I argued that he absolutely knows the concept behind adding because we have modeled it many times. He doesn’t necessarily know what the word “plus” means yet but he understands the idea of putting more together. His understanding of “more” will help with addition problem-solving in the future.
We moved on to modeling two fingers and adding thee more. I ask my son how many we have altogether. He counts and says, “five”.
“More” and “altogether” will later translate to “add” and “equals”.
Can your grade school student read an analog clock? I have middle school students who have strong “clock skills” and use them in other situations for problem solving.
Students who know how to read a clock can do the following skills in their head when solving fraction, multiplication, ratio, and proportion problems.
Using a clock to solve multiples of 5:
Understanding fourths on a clock:
Understanding thirds on a clock:
Take the TIME to teach your kids how to read a clock!
Subtraction is repeatedly taking some away. Subtraction leads to division, which is repeatedly subtracting the same number. Therefore! Start teaching your toddler the idea of taking something away. Food and treats work great!
Here my son is about to eat his treats. First we count how many he has: 12 gummies. Then I let him eat 2 gummies. We talk about how they are gone and they aren’t coming back! We count the gummies again. I have him eat two more, count what’s left, and repeat until he has eaten all of them.
Use these vocabulary words and phrases to describe subtracting:
- Take away
For older children, ask them the following questions:
- What did we take away or eat over and over? (2 gummies)
- How many did we start with? (12 gummies)
- How many times did you eat 2 gummies? (6 times)
Get creative and use fruit, candy, cereal, marshmallows, cookies, and more!