## Thursday, March 25, 2010

### Apple Fractions

A long time ago Mi'ita had a book called Apple Fractions. I don't remember much about it now other than a bunch of elves used ladders and saws to cut up different kinds of apples and they talked about the fraction the apple was cut into. When she was five or so she wanted to do it too, so we went to WinCo and bought one of every kind of apple they had and cut them into sections, following the book, talked about the fractions, and ate different kinds of apples. We had a taste test and decided what was her favorite type of apple (Golden Delicious.)

Every couple of years she has wants to do it again. She remembered about it earlier this week and wanted to do it again so we headed to Freddy's and bought one of every kind of apple they had and did it again. Being 10 now, giant daughter of mine, we added and subtracted the fractions, too, and wrote the problems down and found common denominators and such. We probably should have checked the book out of the library. They added details like what the numerator and denominator are called and such. I forget to add those things.

We did it with her friend D. who is on Spring Break and decided to hang out and homeschool with us yesterday. D. had an easier time of it than Mi'ita did. Interesting. I am used to Mi'ita being the quickest mind in the crowd. Our math programs that we have used this year are single minded. The first program (Singapore Math) focused exclusively on long multiplication, the second program (Math-U-See) focused exclusively on long division. Neither one of those worked with fractions at all. Math-U-See adds a little geometry in there and some measurement, but no fractions. Wait, I take that back. When you get to remainders (no decimals yet), you write your remainder as a fraction.

Anyway, after we taste tested and ranked the apples, D. and Mi'ita cut them up and made a pie with the rest. Home Economics. Yum!

1. My favorite fraction lesson of all time comes from children's author Mike Thaler, "The Teacher from the Black Lagoon." When the teacher, a giant crocodile monster, assigns the math homework and one of the kids in the back complains they haven't done fractions yet, she calls him up to the front of the room.

"This is a whole boy," she tells them.

Then, with a giant snap of her jaws, she takes a big bite.

"This is half a boy," she says sweetly. "Now you've had fractions."

2. I love the insight on curriculum, Thanks!

3. Brilliant! I love this way of teaching fractions! Great job, teach!
Love ya,
Mutti