A Fraction of This or That

How can we arrange shapes and collections of objects into equal fractions?

That is what the Year 2’s have been exploring and investigating over the last two weeks.  We have been exploring the concepts of equal parts and fractions into real-life sharing situations. Fractions can be used to name a part of a particular shape set or a collection of objects.

Students have been learning to recognise the set of objects as a whole and use counters and craft materials, along with folding and cutting paper into fraction shapes divided into equal parts. Halves, quarters, thirds and even up to 10ths have been considered to demonstrate their understandings. Students have been describing and naming parts of the sets that have a common fraction such as ‘1/4 or one out of four eyes are blue’ or ‘¾ or three out of four eyes are brown’.

Describing the equal parts of a whole also involves other mathematical concepts such as division, addition and multiplication, so many concept skills are being used at the same time. Topic language and building fraction ‘language’ has also been developed where by students have been explicitly taught vocabulary such as: fraction, part, whole, equal parts, group, collection, share, sharing, divide and dividing. Teachers have been listening to students use this language to describe their fractions to ascertain their knowledge and understandings during their learning journey.  

Creating open-ended experiences has been important, as Year 2 students have shown what they know and used their creativity as a tool to discuss and reflect on their own progress at their individual level of learning. This has also provided purposeful feedback opportunities from teachers and peers so an insight can be gained into the students’ level of thinking and what further learning needs to be taught, revised or extended upon.

Students have been working in small teacher focused groups, making a creative fractions poster, practical fractions games and using ICT to explore this mathematical topic area. Powerful open-ended investigations have provided a way of actively engaging all learners and giving all students the opportunity to develop new knowledge while enjoying their learning at the same time!

Louise Ward

Year 2B Teacher


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