When first learning fractions, I’ve found most students benefit from lots and lots of examples. It’s fine to teach rules and procedures, which I do, but I also try to show that rule applied in many different contexts.

Watch this video for many examples of how N/N = 1 . Whether it is one trip, one football game or one pot of stew 4/4 = 1 and 8/8 also =1.

Fractions: Gateway to Algebra

A very thoughtful fifth-grade student asked me this question:

I’m a little nervous about learning Algebra. What is the difference between the regular math I’ve been learning and Algebra?

I told him,

When you learn your multiplication tables, you learn how to solve one problem, like what is 4 times 7. When you learn Algebra, you’ll learn how not to solve a specific problem but how to solve ALL of that type of problem.

This video is an example of solving all of a type of problem. When a fraction has the same numerator and denominator, it is always equal to one. Once you understand this, you know the answer to every single problem of that type. This fact can be used in your future to make make a lot of other problems easier. For example 8 + 4x/4x = 9.

Like the video? You’ll love the game.

This video comes from our game, Fish Lake. You can get it here.

In Fish Lake, players practice with fractions while learning math problem-solving strategies. They’ll also be introduced to Native American history. Watch out for poisonous snakes! Canoe through the rapids. Find enough food for your village’s survival. Figure out “what’s fair.” Who knew you could get this excited about fractions? Recommended for grades 4 and up.

Plays on Windows, Mac and iPad.

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