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In Maths, we have been learning about fractions and measurements. I’d like us to keep thinking about/practising using fractions, and this can be combined with measurement in practical activities.

The National Curriculum objectives are for children to be able to:

  • count up and down in tenths; recognise that tenths arise from dividing an object into 10 equal parts and in dividing one-digit numbers or quantities by 10
  • recognise, find and write fractions of a discrete set of objects: unit fractions fractions (where the numerator [top] number is 1, ie ¼) and non-unit fractions (ie ¾, where the numerator is greater than 1) with small denominators
  • recognise and use fractions as numbers: unit fractions and non-unit fractions with small denominators
  • recognise and show, using diagrams, equivalent fractions with small denominators
  • add and subtract fractions with the same denominator within one whole [for example, 7 5 + 7 1 = 7 6 ]
  • compare and order unit fractions, and fractions with the same denominators
  • solve problems that involve all of the above.

We’ve started on this, and if we were in school, would be covering these objectives for at least another week, probably two.

Below are some suggested activities for children to try:

  • finding fractions of amounts – we looked at this in school by having a ‘fraction breakfast’ by measuring out simple fractions of differing breakfast foods, for example, ¼ of a 1kg box of cornflakes, etc. This was pre-panic buying times (last fortnight seems quite distant) so you may not want to use food, but you can measure and find fractions of anything – paper, wood, sets of objects (toys, cushions, siblings). Children will find this easier or harder depending on the unit they’re counting in (kg, ml, cm, etc) and the fraction. Stick to simple unit (1/2, 1/3, ¼, etc) and non-unit (2/3, ¾, 3/5, etc) fractions. The focus is recognising fractions as dividing objects into equal groups and then working out how many of those groups we’re wanting to find. We looked at this as dividing by the bottom/denominator and the timesing by the top/numerator – they may sing about this, as we made up a song. And dance. I’m not proud.
    • Be as creative/adventurous as you can be with this – go outside and find fractions of the stones on the path, sheep in the field, fish in the pond or whatever you can. Try and post pictures on Seesaw of whatever you end up doing.
  • Would you rather…? game. Show real or hypothetical sweets – would you rather have ¾ or 7/8 of these sweets? Attached is a Powerpoint (called fractions of amounts investigation – use this as an example, or if preferred, just ask the children to do these instead.

Otherwise, I’ve also tried to attach some worksheets. These are probably not as fun, but there also not as resource-intensive and ultimately how children will be tested, so have a go. The sheet I’d most like to see children work on is the one called ‘Fractions – WR’ – this is from the White Rose scheme of maths and the one we’d be covering in class under normal circumstance. The other two attachments are a fractions of money exercise with WAY more questions on than children need to do – pick a difficulty and do a set of 10 at most – and a Powerpoint I pinched off the internet to explain/remind how to find fractions of amounts.

I think the two practical activities and the White Rose sheet will take roughly the right amount of time. The only other thing to keep on top of is times tables – please use Times Table Rockstars or practise in any way you choose to help children learn their tables.