This is the tenth post related to our Time 4 Fractions (T4F) journey. Please click here to start from the beginning.
I will likely post a few more Equal Sharing problems (Empson & Levi, 2011), and then, move to another “journey” (still word problems, but on all operations). But before ending T4F, I will provide some guidelines if you want to keep strengthen your child’s understanding in fractions as well as levels of strategies children may use while solving Equal Sharing problems. I personally will continue to provide my child with opportunities to explore Equal Sharing problems until she realizes that “a things shared by b people is a/b” (Empson & Levi, 2011, p25).
Time 4 Fractions – Problem #10 – Sharing apples
Level Yellow – 2 people want to share 3 apples so that each of them gets the same amount. How many apples would each get?
Level Orange – 4 people want to share 9 apples so that each of them gets the same amount. How many apples would each get?
Level Red – 6 people want to share 4 apples so that each of them gets the same amount. How many apples would each get?
Invite your child to either model the problem (with paper and scissors for instance) and/or represent the problem with a picture. If your child has learned about fractions at school, invite him/her to connect symbols to the model or picture. And as always, invite your child to share his/her reasoning with you !
Level Yellow leads to 1 apple 1/2, Level Orange leads to 2 1/4, and Level Red may lead to the equivalents 4/6 or 2/3, depending on the strategy the child may use.
Sharing my experience
I was surprised to see my child writing a fraction symbol (1/4). She apparently learned the symbol on her own while playingg an education game on the tablet, through a short video, showing a pizza, cut into halves, fourths, and eights. Pretty neat, but at one point, the video talks about 3 fourths of a pizza (3/4) left to eat showing … 6 eights of a pizza (6/8). The 2 fractions are equivalents, but how puzzling to hear 3/4 and see 6/8 of a pizza. When I asked my child about it, she said “I am not sure, but it is a lot of pizza to eat !”. Sorry, Rosie, you may have to keep solving equal sharing problems for a while, they sure are going to help you understand the meaning of the fraction symbol.
Empson, S. E., and Levi, L. (2011). Extending Children’s Mathematics: Fractions and Decimals. Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann. ISBN-13: 978-0325030531.