Last Updated on October 7, 2023 by Editorial Team
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It took me a lot of struggle when I chose to enlighten my child with fractions of circles. When I could not make him understand what exactly 1/2, 3/4, etc of a circle mean, I found an easy solution in a pizza. The kid could instantly understand what it meant when I divided his pizza and gave one of its halves to his brother. It is when the idea of using manipulatives to teach fraction circles struck me. So, here I am with the most engaging manipulatives that I found effective in acquainting kids to the idea of fraction circles.
Fractions of circle around us
A circle is a basic geometrical figure that we can locate easily in daily life. Moon and Sun are the two most visible and obvious representations of the concept of the circle that children can easily relate to. I mentioned pizza and its dividing in the above section, which is a practical way of befriending kids to the idea of fractions of a circle. Taking that idea further, let’s explore other phenomena of common occurrence that remind us of circle’s fractions:
- Half-moon and full-moon
- Conical structures
- Pie-charts, and so on.
Taking kids out to locate fractions of circles may not be practical always. Hence, here is the list of manipulatives that can help achieve fluency in this fraction circle faster through classroom and homeschooling sessions.
Manipulatives to teach fraction circles to kids
1. Simply Magic Magnetic Fraction Circles
Teaching fractions starts with making usual divisions like 1/2, 1/4, 3/4, etc. And, it is just the tip of the iceberg! Kids need to learn how to divide these further to understand the smaller quantities’ concept. Walk kids through more tangible expressions of equations like 1/2 = 1/4 + 1/4 using this manipulative. The visual presentation of such questions also allows kids to understand the fact that the higher the denominator, the smaller the portion is.
An additional advantage is that the fraction circles are color-coded. Thus, kids with calculation difficulties can master the fractions and associated quantities using these alternative tools of learning. Number sense, the addition of fractions, and evaluation of the fraction size are some of the skills the early learners can improve with this manipulative.
2. Connecting Fraction Circles
Offer the kids activity-based learning support with this plastic-based, connecting fraction circles. The fraction circles in this manipulative are color-coded to represent five basic values the starters encounter. Kids can master concepts like equivalent fractions, fractional values, converting fractions to decimals, and improper fractions by modeling the expressions using these connectible pieces.
You can drive kids to explore more possibilities by asking them to join differently sized fraction pieces. For example, replace 1/2 with two 1/4 fractions and so on to make colorful structures. It boosts imaginative abilities and offers a hands-on method to play with fraction concepts in myriad ways.
3. Fraction Teaching Kit
Build knowledge of how to divide circles into fractions step-by-step with this engaging manipulative for beginners. It is color-coded in nine hues to represent fractional values starting from halves, thirds, forths up to the twelfth part. Designed to complement the needs of fourth-grade students, this teaching support makes way around the learning difficulties of kids. Teaching the relationship between factors and the whole values becomes easy to demonstrate by the act of adding and removing these fractions from a particular round shape.
This educational support is Montessori-themed and promotes active learning. Students can employ this manipulative for self-learning at home and to smoothly transition their understanding from whole numbers to fractional values. It works as an engaging activity material that allows parents to check kids’ proficiency through play methods.
4. Double-sided fraction to percentage circles
Fractions are parts of a whole number, and a percentage is particularly the hundredth value. The concepts like a fraction, ratio, and percentage are all closely related to each other. So, when you feel like asking what next after fraction, one simple answer would be – learn percentage. This double-sided fraction circle manipulative offers a deeper exploration of the fraction concept and allows the learners to understand how it is related to percentage.
The manipulative is quite useful as a ready reckoner of the percentage value of a corresponding fraction. With regular practice, you will find enhanced smoothness in the retrieval of values. It is an interesting classroom teaching material designed on the lines of STEM Education.
5. Fraction Circles and Tiles with Activity Cards
Take another progressive leap in the learning curve by doing fractions-based activities with the help of this manipulative. It comes with a set of activity cards that contain a variety of brain-teasers based on fractions. Students can learn about different ways of obtaining a fraction, and be familiar with the concept of equivalencies.
Puzzling the brain need not be so stressful; this manipulative offers 14 different fun puzzles based on fractions. Overall experience turns out to be enjoyable as students feel a surge in satisfaction levels when they get to boost their knowledge by applying the concept of fractions. So, whenever you feel stuck on what to do next after learning fractions, this manipulative offers a pretext for further .
6. Fraction Dominoes
Dominoes are one of the best homeschooling manipulatives useful in teaching early math, the fun way. The portability of these dominoes makes them suitable for learning everywhere. In this pack, the fractions displayed in circles are matched with the numeric fractions for better comprehension. To help get better visualization, the fractions and the corresponding portions on other figures such as rectangles are matched too.
The manipulative effectively trains the mind to pick the relationship between fractions and corresponding visual presentations. The uniqueness of this teaching tool lies in the way it highlights the difference among various denominators. Also, the tiles are sized proportionately to help compare fractional values. Set on the Montessori theme of education, this manipulative offers engaging self-learning support for homeschoolers too.
7. Fraction Flips
If you want to teach how to present fraction of a circle in different ways, this manipulative can provide the perfect tool. These flip-cards are self-explanatory, still, the air around the relationships between fractions and different other concepts can be cleared with a quick demonstration. How many fractions of a circle equal the corresponding numeric, decimal, or percentage is demonstrated in this flip card. The regular intervention fits the concept in a deeply ingrained manner.
Different kinds of associations are explained through color-coded flip cards. Learners at the beginner level can visualize the number of individual things from a set of things or simply learn percentage or decimal values with regular practice.
8. Pizza Fraction Fun Game
Pizza and its pieces are the most relatable presentation of the concept of fraction circles. This gamified manipulative utilizes the pizza pieces to befriend the early learners with the idea. There is a spin wheel provided that guides players on what to do with pizza and its slices. This manipulative offers a multisensory way of exploring fraction circle facts. The pieces are labeled as 1/8, 1/2, etc. as per the size.
The spin wheel prompts to do activities like add or subtract or share. This moves kids deeper into performing fractions-based mathematical operations. Multiple challenges and levels of difficulty offer ample food for brain and stimulate thinking power appreciably.
9. Wooden Arranging Game
Learning by the way of arranging wooden triangles can stimulate the spatial reasoning abilities of toddlers. This fraction circle offers an interesting way to teach telling time to preschoolers. The wooden frame represents a wall clock. If you observe closely, the hour and minute hand cover a fraction of a circle that corresponds to a time of the day. It continues to prove its relevance among grown-up learners and allows them to employ their creativity in developing patterns of various kinds.
Thus, this manipulative moves little learners from the point of gaining conceptual knowledge to understanding the application of fractions of circles. This triangular tiles set can keep the play method in focus and melt away the stress of learning. The creation of patterns offers a suitable mind-calming activity too.
10. Fraction Measuring Cups
Include role-play in the teaching method with this practical presentation of fraction circles. The idea of the use of math in cooking is reinforced with this measuring manipulative designed in a fraction circle shape. You can move to the next level from finding 2D parameters like the area to guessing the volume or quantity a third or fourth part of the circle may hold.
Early fraction learners can do multiple activities like measuring, playing estimation games, or don the chef’s hat to get social skills training. It is one of the most interesting manipulatives that teach fraction circles to kids without their realizing the drill.
Extracting best benefits…
Learning need not be painful always. Manipulatives promote playful and role-play-based learning and help see the bookish concepts from a practical perspective. To ensure that the kids stay on the path of learning, here are a few tips to use manipulatives:
- Ask for strategy to apply and outcome expected from the activity
- Provoke thinking to name the concept on which the manipulative activity is based
- Set rewards for successful completion
- Encourage to move to more challenging levels to stimulate brain
- Rate performances to get an idea of next applicable strategy that can ensure full learning
The fraction of a circle is a concept that exhibits a relationship with several other math concepts. It is essential to learn this basic geometry topic to perfection for smoother transitioning to higher levels of learning. Manipulatives offer doable ways of learning to kids who have a tendency to avoid learning by reading or mugging up. The only thing to take care of is that kids should be kept on track by the use of meaningful and timely interventions.
I am Pratiksha Bhatt, Bachelor of Life Science, and Masters in Management Studies. I have done certification courses in early education counseling. I am a writer, a mother of a child with spelling difficulties which drove me to alternative resources of education like manipulatives and participatory activities. My areas of expertise are learning difficulties, alternative learning methods, and activity-based learning.