Math, in general, can be a confusing and frustrating time in your child’s education. Fractions,  particularly is one of the hardest areas to master. In the traditional classroom setting, parents and students both relate to how difficult this learning experience can be.

There is a better way to build fraction knowledge

The Montessori approach to building fraction knowledge uses materials like the; Fraction Circles, Fraction Circle Box, and skittles. This is a hands-on approach for your child to actually “feel” fractions. Your child uses these materials to discover fraction concepts such as equivalent fractions and is able to visualize what they are.

These materials: Fraction Circles, Fraction Circle Box, and green skittles are also used in showing terms such as “families” and “sharing equally” for division. They are used in showing how to divide with whole numbers and a lot of other concepts. The child is allowed to focus on new concepts and at the same time are able to see how it relates to those taught before. By using consistent materials and terminology, the student is less frustrated as they recognize parts of information taught earlier.

The Montessori concept to teaching new strategies and concepts is based on how your child is progressing. They look at each student’s personal growth and comfort level in the material before moving them on to new material. By allowing your child to be comfortable in their knowledge allows them to be successful which builds confidence in them. This approach to learning fractions prevents your child from hating fractions as they are only asked to do what they are ready to do. Making learning fun and easy with consistent materials helps your child discover fraction knowledge much easier.

How the Fraction Circle works

You need your child to visualize what exactly is a fraction. Showing the circle and explaining this represents “1” as it is 1 circle. Then explain sometimes we need numbers smaller than 1 and show how the circle splits into two parts. As you do this draw a horizontal line on a sheet of paper. Ask your child how many pieces do they see and they will answer 2. Write the 2 below the line you drew. Give this number a name by explaining it is called the “denominator”. You can repeat this process by cutting the red circle into different pieces and asking the same question and writing the answer under different lines showing how the “denominator” is determined.

From this point going back to show what the “numerator” is should make some sense to your child. For example with the circle divided into 2 parts hold up 1 piece and ask how many pieces are you holding up? Then answer “1” will be placed over the line with 2. Explaining that you are holding 1 out of the 2 pieces.This process is repeated with each of the divided circles you have made allowing your child to actually see how the fraction was created and what it actually stands for. This same Fraction Circle will work as your child progresses and goes into adding, subtracting and many other fraction lessons.

A Montessori education is a child-centered approach to education and is designed to allow your child to discover, explore and learn at a pace that makes learning comfortable and interesting. Call our North Fremont preschool in your area and schedule a tour to see how remarkable and effective a Montessori approach may be.

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