What do you think when you hear the word "fraction"?
A multitude of things might pop in to your mind..maybe pizza? For many students and parents fractions become a major stumbling block in math education. Fractions are one of the first semi-abstract concepts that students learn in school and can become frustrating fast!
Fractions don't have to leave you or your child frustrated and confused forever. Helping your child understand the concept of fractions and what they physically look like can go a long way as they learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions. Deeper knowledge of what fractions mean will help your child know how to handle fractions when they are presented with complex math problems.
You might be thinking "but my child is already in a higher grade and is expected to do all these operations with fractions...how can I get them to memorize how to do it?".
I would suggest briefly taking your child back to the beginning of their fraction education. Make sure they understand what a fraction means. Break out paper and fold it in to equal parts. Discuss how one "piece" of the whole paper becomes smaller as you fold it in to more equal parts. Alternatively, use food such as pizza, cake or pie to cut and discuss the size of the pieces. Take the fractions that you have created and write them in fraction form. Talk to your child about what the numerator means (how many pieces of a whole you have) and what the denominator means (how many pieces the whole is split in to).
Once your child understands what a fraction is, then they will be more prepared to understand how to perform operations with fractions.
Take a look at the video below to see how I approach fractions with my students, and how you can help your child understand fractions on a deeper level.
What is your biggest frustration with fractions?