Another idea from Mike Ollerton’s workshops. This file gives a comprehensive explanation of the activity, which starts like this:
I have used a similar task before but I realised that I had missed a key step which is to label each fraction after folding:
The file then goes on to describe how to use this for demonstrating all four operations: add, subtract, multiply, divide. It’s a lovely way of reinforcing the concept of equivalent fractions at every stage.
My only reservation with this task is that doing the folding in the first place might be a barrier for some learners. Especially folding something into thirds – it’s not straightforward.
I have added some Powerpoint printables that provide guidelines along which to fold. Note these are set up as A4, so print them 2 to a page and then cut.
In a sense, I can see that this might detract from the notion of “folding in half” because it becomes “fold along that line”. I haven’t had enough experience of which is the “better” way to do this – I’d be very happy if anyone wanted to share their thoughts!