Tag: elementary

Getting Started with Montessori Fractions

Age: 6
Presentations: Putting Fractiosn in order from 1 to tenth, Matching Fractions From Whole to a Tenth

Note: Here are my other posts on our Fraction presentations.

Traditionally, Montessori fractions start in first grade.  Now that Astroboy is officially in elementary, it is time to visit the subject.

I showed Astroboy a bit of it along side Thumper our first year homeschooling.  I spent a lot of time making materials and we zoomed through nomenclature,  The AMI style albums were a bit thin on follow up and the children weren’t too interested in making booklets.  Following the presentations, I tried having Thumper look for equivalence, she disliked the repetitive work.

Because of all this, we kind of gave up on fractions altogether our second year.  This year, with Thumper starting state testing, it is time to go back and cover all the subjects we were supposed to be teaching but never get around to.

In my Montessori albums, you start Fractions with nomenclature.  In Montessori primary, this is done with the skittles.  Astroboy did this once or twice.  He wasn’t too interested.  In elementary, you start with the fraction insets, which I did not bring to Taiwan.

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Fraction Games

According to Montessori curriculum, kids start in earnest with fractions in first grade.  Last semester, I tried to get Thumper to learn her fractions.  While it was obvious whenever we did it that she understands quickly and can advance to the next stage, she did not want to do it AT ALL.  Case in point, after introduction to fractions, we did nomenclature matching (Chinese to English to pictures to numbers), I had to kind of make her do it.  By that I mean putting it on her work plan and she dragged and dragged her feet till I pointed out to her it’s on her work plan.  Then it was fraction equivalence, I don’t even know when we started that work.   November? October?  She just finished that this week, mid January.  So that took 2+ months.

One thing I got out of homeschooling last semester is that maybe I need to really just accept the way my child learns and think of ways to appeal to her.  I know I know, such a Montessori concept.  But this means that I cannot just use the Montessori materials and presentations as I was taught.  Thumper is a creative one.  Show her how to do something, and more often than not she wants to play with it, see it used a different way.

This week, I remembered that I saw a fractions game at a Montessori school I observed.  After asking around and looking at albums, I learned that it’s not in the albums.  It’s just an extension the teacher made up.  We played this game this week.  Thumper had much fun.  In fact, I had much fun.  This week, school in general felt great because most of our time spent together was happy times.

Fraction War

The game is simple.  Fractions cards from 1, 1/2, 2/2, 1/3, 2/3,….10/10 are shuffled.  Each player takes one card, takes the fraction circles to make up that number, and compare the fractions.  The person with the bigger fraction takes all the cards and the person with the most number of cards by the end wins.  The direct aim of the game is to see visually how a fraction is represented and become familiar with it.

Extensions: Take out the large fractions if you really want to illustrate the fraction equivalent concepts in a concrete way.  Ask children to name fractions in English. (more…)