Monday, January 5, 2015

Easy to Make Fraction Wheels

Fractions are often a difficult concept for students to visualize.  Today I had the pleasure of working with a group of 5th grade students.  In order for them to show their knowledge of fractions, we spent 15 minutes creating fractions wheels. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do this with your own students.

Materials needed: Cheap white paper plates, marker or crayon, scissors, ruler

First, have students completely color one of the plates.

Next, have them use the ruler to find the center point of both plates. This is a great time to introduce or review vocabulary having to do with circles such as "diameter", "radius", "chord", etc. 

When they have found the center of both plates, have them cut the radius of each plate.  

Finally, place one plate on top of the other and twist them so they interlock where they have been cut.  This will allow students to rotate the plates to create representations of different fractions. We spend a bit of time having them showing different fraction representations and explaining why they believed those representations to be accurate.

After spending some time exploring fraction concepts, students will use their creations to teach those concepts to other students around the world through short videos as part of the Distance Teaching Project