Fractions. They are every parent’s worst nightmare. After all, most of us did not understand them when we were in school, so how can we expect to help our own children with them now? If your child is starting to bring home worksheets with 4th grade fractions on them and needs a little bit of help, here are some easy ideas you can use to make fractions just a little bit easier to understand.
Numerator and Denominator: Build a Solid Foundation?
Many fourth graders struggle with fractions because of one simple problem – they do not know the difference between numerators and denominators. These terms are fundamental to working with fractions, yet they are quite easy to mix up. Here is how you can help:
If you explain fractions in terms of pieces of a pizza, this might be easier to grasp. The denominator (bottom number) represents the number of pieces the chef cut into the pizza. The numerator (top number) represents the number of pieces you have. By reiterating this information over and over again, you will be able to help prevent one of the common problems kids face when learning 4th grade fractions.
Use Cake (Literally)
If you want to make 4th grade fractions a piece of cake, then use some cake. It may not be cost-effective or easy on the waistline to bake actual cakes, so cut up some pictures of cakes that the kids can use. Allow them to cut and manipulate the pieces of cake so they can better grasp the meaning of improper fractions, mixed numbers, greatest common factor and lowest common denominator.
Use Learning Apps to Help
Visualizing fractions is essential, but large fractions may not lend themselves well to cutting up a pizza, cake or other model. This is where iPad and Android-based learning apps come in. Use a learning app that uses plenty of visuals to teach the child what the problem actually means, and you will find greater success.
With the right program, your kids will receive instruction as they learn, instead of learning concepts incorrectly, they will be well prepared for the tasks at hand through guidance at the point of learning. Thinkster Math is a highly visual learning app that uses lessons created by certified teachers to explain concepts in a way that kids can understand. Thinkster can make 4th grade fractions something your child can easily grasp and even enjoy.