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Friday, April 13, 2012


Were you good with fractions?  I really wasn't.  I considered myself pretty smart up until 9th grade and Mr. Anlauf's Algebra class when we were supposed to start doing stuff with fractions.

I received my first, and thankfully, my one and only, "F" on a quiz.

It was shocking and heartbreaking.

I cried.

Mr. Anlauf wasn't very nice to me.

I suppose, looking back now as a grown up who knows the kinds of dramatic situations teenage girls can bemoan about....Maybe I may wouldn't have been so nice either!  

Who I am kidding?  I still would have been nice....but he's a guy!

Anyway, because of that, I am still sort of afraid of fractions.

So, to help my children not have to go through the same trials and tribulations with fractions as I did, it has been my intention since they hit 1st grade or so to start introducing fractions into their lives so by the time they hit algebra....they are not hit in the face with their lack of knowledge and paralyzed with fear like their mother was.

So, anytime we have a chance to review anything related to fractions, I am all over it.

This time is is called  Fabulous Fractions by AIMS Education Foundation.

AIMS (Activities Integrating Math and Science) approach to education is to combine math and science with hands on activities to make the idea hit home.

This book is designed for Grades 3-5, but some could be adapted for younger students and others, I think, would be a fun thing for your older students to do....even if they already have a strong grip on fractions.

I would have loved to have this book....even in 9th grade....because it just helps me "see" the fractions in my head in a different way than just a black and white equation on a sheet of paper.

It is an activity book....not a textbook.  For example, using the cover of the say that three sevenths (3/7)of the kids were facing left.....or one sevenths (1/7) of the students is doing a weird acrobatic move to get to his manipulatives.

We especially liked the Decimal Duel activity (where you "duel" with decimals similar to the card game War) and the hands on stuff of Fair Share.

The one downside for me was that I had to do some prep before we could do the activity and make sure I had all the supplies or copies I needed.  The book does come with a CD that has PDF versions of the worksheets, so that helps if you don't have a copier at home.
We also received the  Fractional Transparencies that come with this book....but you can also get them separately to have a visual tool of fractions that shows  their relationship to each other.

I used this book as an extra "fun" school activity about 2 or 3 times a week.  It might also be a good thing to use on school breaks so they don't forget everything you have taught them!  I am thinking of using them this summer with the whole family....well, maybe V-girl is too young....but everybody else could benefit from a new way to see/remember fractions.

You can order a copy of  Fabulous Fractions for $21.95 or the PDF version for $19.95.  For me, I would spend the extra couple of bucks for the hard copy version because I am still old fashioned and like to hold books and flip through their pages.

See what other TOS crew members thought of the different books they tried, like Earth Rocks or Looking at Lines.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of Fabulous Fractions and Fraction Transparencies for free in exchange for an honest review of the products.