Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fractions Operations Review with Pattern Block Pictures

While we're on spring break, I want to share some recent photos from math class. My students did the (free!) Fractions Operations Project from Mary at Teaching with a Mountain View. Thank you, Mary, for sharing such a nice activity for fraction review!

When my students did the activity, they calculated the total number of pattern blocks used, using both multiplication and addition with fractions. They first had to figure out how many of each block were used and then multiply by the fractional part comprised of that block; so, for example, the total number of green triangles had to be multiplied by 1/6. Then they had to add the numbers for all the blocks together, giving them a total for their pictures. Next, they had to "prove it" by showing the blocks used in their picture, organized so that the total could be easily checked.

Learning intensified when they found that their totals (calculated on paper vs. showing/counting the blocks) didn't match! (This happened to quite a few students.) Usually, they recounted the blocks and came up with the same total. So then they had to go back to the math--multiplying or adding with fractions--and figure out where they went wrong. Lightbulbs were going off so fast the room was ablaze! :)

Recounting to check fraction operations!
I love, love the way this combines art with fraction operations and provides opportunity for students to prove their work!

Find more Fraction Ideas here!


  1. Thank you SO much for featuring my activity on your blog. I love the pictures your students created!

    :) Mary


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