Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Fraction Game

I use this game to introduce fractions to kindergarten age children and higher. Through it, they learn that when the denominator number is smaller, the fraction piece is larger. It also helps them to visualize how fractions can be added together.
Our fraction circles range from 1 whole to a circle of ten tenths. For the game, I made up 3/4 by 3/4 inch squares with all of the fractions printed on them. There is one "1" and two "1/2" squares, three "1/3" squares, etc. To begin the game, the children place each of the fraction labels on the corresponding red fraction piece.
I cut label stickers to fit each side of two dice. On the sides I wrote fractions up to 1/10, since that is how far our fraction circles go. Each player (usually two) takes the base circle from the whole and the half fraction pieces. A child can play alone or with a friend. the object of the game is to see who can fill up their base circle first. The circle must be filled up exactly. Sometimes no one wins. They are eager to play again until there is a winner.
I begin by explaining that one half is one of two parts, one third is one of three parts, etc.
A player rolls the two dice, however, he can only use one of the fractions shown. He must choose the one that will best fill his circle. If neither fraction shown will fit into what remains of his circle, he must try again on the next turn. Although there often is no winner, this is a popular game.