Q:

My child has hit a roadblock in math since she was introduced to fractions. Do you know of any ways to help her? -- Solution Needed

A:

Your child needs to see how fractions work. Often this is done by dividing up a circle into pieces. Another approach is to use fraction strips worksheets. You can easily search and find them online. Look for ones that go from one piece to at least six pieces that equal one piece. Twelve pieces are even better. You don't want to use blank worksheets. You need ones with the fractions written in them.

Make four copies of the fraction pieces. Have your child glue each copy onto cardboard. Then have her cut out the fraction pieces on three of the copies, keeping the fourth copy intact. The fraction pieces will allow your child to compare fractions based on their length. Just making the fraction pieces will teach your daughter a lot about fraction concepts, as well as use trial and error to explore the relationships between fractions.

The next step is to show your child how to make fraction trains. Place two 1/3 fraction pieces end to end forming a fraction train to represent the fraction 2/3. Then have your daughter use the fraction pieces to make fraction trains for 2/4, 3/4, 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, 2/6, 3/6, 4/6, 5/6 and so on up to 11/12. For each train, ask your child, "How many fraction pieces did you use?" She should notice that the number of fraction pieces is the same number as the top number (numerator) of the fraction train she made.

Next, show your child that a fraction train of two 1/2 fraction pieces is the same length as the one piece. Your child should then use fraction pieces 1/3, 1/4 and on up to 1/12 to make trains that are the same length as the one piece. For each train, ask your child, "How many fraction pieces did you use to make the one piece?" She should observe that the number of fraction pieces she used to make the one piece is the same number as the bottom number (denominator) of each fraction piece.

** *