Two of my favorite websites for exploring fractions concepts with students are Kids and Cookies and Find Grampy. I share Kids and Cookies often at conferences and during webinars. I was honored two years ago to meet one of the creators of Kids and Cookies when he introduced himself after attending my interactive resources presentation at PCTM in Pittsburgh.
I used Kids and Cookies to introduce fractions to my students. The open-ended manipulative allowed them to explore the concept of fractions in the context of a real world problem. I would choose three kids and four cookies and ask my students how they could divide them equally and “still be friends” when they were finished. The manipulative then allowed us to cut the cookies into equal parts which would be the springboard for our discussion “What Is A Fraction?”
Being able to choose different numbers of students, different numbers of cookies, and different shapes of cookies opens the manipulative to future uses for exploring equivalent fractions and mixed numbers.
I used Find Grampy to practice visualizing the size of fractional parts of a whole with my students. Students are used to larger numbers representing larger quantities, so a difficult fractions concept for them to grasp is the fact that the denominator increases as the size of the fractional part decreases. Find Grampy helps students practice visualizing the size of fractional parts in the context of a fun hide-and-seek game. I often used virtual ink over the top of the interactive and asked students to divide the hedge into the equal number of parts indicated by the denominator before answering online.
Both Kids and Cookies and Find Grampy are included in StarrMatica’s Teaching Beginning Fractions Concepts ebook that can be downloaded for free here.