Fractions are tricky to grasp. How is it that 1/2 is bigger than 1/3 when a 3 is bigger than a 2? Once you understand fractions, it makes sense. Until then? It is a big mystery. Help your child see fractions at work as she pretends to gobble up slices of pizza. Make a pizza game board ahead of time, and help your child look at fractions in a whole new way.
What You Do:
- Draw a game board with 10 circles that will function as the pizzas. Decorate them with simple toppings. Tiny triangles and circles work well.
- Divide these pizzas into fractions. Include one pizza that is cut into halves, two that are cut into thirds, three cut into quarters, and four cut into fifths.
- Cut a piece of paper into 10 slips. On each one write one of the following fractions --1/2, 1/3, 2/3, 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 1/5, 2/5, 3/5, and 4/5. Fold the slips in half and drop them into the bowl.
- Have your child draw a slip of paper from the bowl. If it says 1/4, she gets to “eat” 1 of the 4 pieces by coloring it in. Does she know which pizza is cut into quarters? Show her that the 4, called the denominator, reveals the total number of pieces in the pizza. The number on top of the fraction, the numerator, shows the number of pieces she gets to eat. Have her color in 1 slice of the pizza that is cut into four pieces.
- Have her draw another slip of paper. Can she tell you the total number of pieces in this pizza? Can she tell you how many she gets to eat? Help her find the correct pizza and color in the slices.
- Repeat until all of the slips of paper have been used.
Expand on this game by making additional game sheets. Just be certain that the food item is an easily divided shape such as a circle (pizzas, pies, cake) or a square (sandwich or brownie). Try and try again until she can gobble up 2/3 or 3/5 with confidence.