I hope you’ve been following along with our Summer 2014 Double Book Study so far.  If not, here are the links to get caught up before you scroll down and see what I have to say about Fractions/Decimals/Percents and Geometric Reasoning
Week 9: 5-8 Book with Jennifer Smith-Sloane Section Algebraic Reasoning, Data Analysis/Probability and Measurement (coming next Tuesday!)
Okay, all caught up?  Good… let’s rock and roll then!
Last time I wrote about this book, I spoke about relationships.  I have found that many students struggle in math because they cannot make the connections between the concepts.  FDP and Geometry are MEANT to go together!!
When you are working with FDP you HAVE to make connections to the physical model AND while you are doing so, why not pull in geometric reasoning!
7 Fractions/Decimals/Percents & 8 Geometry
One of my favorite math manipulatives to use with fractions is pattern blocks! I loved that they were represented in the book with many examples.  What I think makes pattern blocks so versatile is that you can reunitize them so easily.  If the yellow hexagon is considered “the whole” then the green triangle is equivalent to 1/6.  However, if you use a double hexagon as “the whole” then a green triangle is now 1/12.  This is not an easy concept for kiddos to pick up on, but if you keep working with them and making the connections the geometric space that is being used, they will become more flexible in their thinking.
With the pattern blocks you can add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions!  You just might have to be a little bit more selective about what problems you choose to make sure that each fraction can be represented with the manipulative. Again, remember you can reunitize!
The authors also speak about making the FDP and Geometry REAL to students.  I couldn’t agree more!  In my last edition of Math IS Real Life I connected cooking, to fractions, to geometric serving sizes! Make sure to click over and read about it AND collect the FREEBIE that I made for your students.  It’s a perfect way to connect fractions and geometric reasoning early in the school year AND to up the math talk in your classroom!
Reflection:
What manipulatives do you use when teaching fractions?
Do you find your students make more sense of FDP and geometry when you connect the two concepts?