What Parents Can do at Home to Help Students with Math:
Have More Fun With Fractions and Decimals
¨ Number lines can help children understand fractions and decimals. Write a list of fractions — 1/8, 1/4, 1/6, 1/2, 1/5, 1/3, 1/10, and so on. Have your child place those fractions on the line below in approximately the place where they should go between 0 and 1.
This will help him get a mental picture of the value of a fraction. Repeat with a wider variety of fractions — 3/10, 4/5, 5/8, 1/2, 1/3, and so on. You can do the same with decimals. See who can come up with the largest or smallest five-digit decimal that could go on the line: .99999, for example or .00001.
¨ Use a pizza to help children see fractions. Cut the pizza into halves, quarters, and eighths, or into thirds, sixths, and twelfths. This way, your child can clearly see that 2/4 is the same as 1/2, or that 2/6 is the same as 1/3.
¨ When you’re in the kitchen, use measuring cups to help your child understand fractions. Use rice, water or popcorn and let your child find the answer to questions like these.
- How many times will you have to fill up the 1/4 cup measure before the one-cup measure is filled? (4)
- How many 1/4 cup measures will fill up the 1/2 cup measure? (2)
- Is 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup more or less that 1/2 cup? (more)
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