Saturday, March 1, 2014

Equivalent Fractions with Legos

Right now my 3rd graders and I are working on equivalent fractions. So tough for many of them. Especially those that do not have a grasp on multiplication facts yet. We are mostly focusing on using visual models help find equivalent fractions. We have used several drawings, fraction bars, and fraction cards. I just felt that I needed something a bit more interactive. 

It so happens that with a classroom full of students crazy about Legos, and the release of the recent Lego movie, that I decided to go for an interactive Lego fraction activity. I searched many places but just couldn't put my hands on exactly what I was looking for, so I developed this Equivalent Fraction Lego Centers set.

We started this unit this past week and the students had a great time while learning about making equivalent fractions for 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, and 1/6. Each center contains sorting fraction mats, fraction questions with a provided area to work out the model, an answer slip for each student, and an explore option for the fast finishers.  

I set these centers up to rotate every 15 minutes for a total of an hour and fifteen minute math lesson. What I found was that the students had a great time making the models to find the answers, but they had a blast with the explore option.

I was amazed at the way the students began to start thinking about fractions. Especially when they began adding fractions with unlike denominators and finding the answers. This also gave me an opportunity to have several mini lessons with groups to show them how using multiplication and division can help you find equivalent fractions and allow you find common denominators so you can then add or subtract fractions. We also discussed simplifying fractions. Because of the exploration and mini lessons, each center was extended to about 25 minutes. We actually only got through 3 on the first day. Looks like we will be finishing up the last two centers next week. 

Storage for this center is super simple. I just use a binder clip to secure all paper and a bag of Legos together. This gives me a total of 5 sets that I placed into a plastic container with a damp on lid. Ready to go for the next time I use these centers. 

Hopefully this interactive fraction lesson will be helpful to you and fun for your students. Thanks for stopping by!

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