Category Archives: multiplying and dividing fractions

Four operations of fractions by folding paper

Another idea from Mike Ollerton’s workshops.  This file gives a comprehensive explanation of the activity, which starts like this:

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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:

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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.

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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!

 

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