Thursday 16 May 2013

Fractions are not Frightening

At supper tonight, Isabelle told her little brother, Jacob, that he is 12 halves.  He had no idea what she was taking about.  She proceeded to explain to him that she could take 6 and write it in terms of halves by doubling 6 and getting 12.  He was not impressed.  But he's 6 and there was no Star Wars Lego involved so this is not surprising.

I couldn't let this opportunity pass so I asked Isabelle if she knew that she is 125 twelfths.  She looked at me with a confused-yet-I-accept-this-challenge look and started thinking it through.  Then she gave up and asked for the answer.  Fat chance!  I asked her how many months there are in a year.  Light bulb...she got the 120 twelfths and thought she had finished.  I asked her what month we are.  Another light bulb...only this was was not shining as brightly!  She came up with 120 twelfths and 1/5 (it has been 5 months since her birthday).  Nope.  And no to giving her the answer.  She wanted paper.  Nope (we were eating) - I told her she had all the pieces already.  And she thought about it a little more and got 10 and 5/12 which is 120/12 and 5/12 or 125/12.

Then we said that Noah is 101/12, but she was done (and apparently no one cared how old Chloë is, but she was refusing to eat her supper, so I guess that's fair.)  That's okay - fractions are such a mystery to so many kids, I am glad that mine think they are kind of fun.  Hmmm....this is probably exactly what my students think I do at home!

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