After your child has mastered the basic operations in Math, the teacher has now presented a more challenging topic – fractions. Fractions are visually appealing to learn. Remember the classic pizza pie example? The topic is very applicable to everyday life and is therefore a must for your child to have a good and thorough conceptual understanding of it.
The concept is easy. The real difficultly is when your child is starting to learn how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, compare, and simplify fractions. The process becomes more complicated. There are additional steps to memorize and without comprehension, the task becomes 10 times more difficult.
Find the common denominator. Cross multiply. Do the reverse. – You multiply, divide, and do various things with the numerators and denominators to come up with the answer. If students simply try to memorize these rules without knowing where they came from, the rules will probably seem like a meaningless jungle. If they get it right, it will probably just feel like magic and if you ask how they got the correct answer, they probably do not know either.
Magic is not applicable to mastering Math. If the child gets it easy at first by tossing numbers here and there and getting answers without having any idea if they are reasonable or not, his tendency is do trial and error and “try his luck” every time. This, we all know, is not proper and fast learning for Math.
Our solution at S.A.M is to use manipulatives and visual models to groom independent learners. Instead of merely presenting a rule; props and toys are used during the study of fractions. This way, fractions become concrete or tangible to the child, and not just a meaningless set of numerators and denominators. The student will be able to estimate the answer before calculating, evaluate the reasonableness of the final answer, and perform many of the simplest operations mentally without knowingly applying any “rule.
To ready your child for exams in school, the learning is then taught visually – thru drawings on paper. This way, after understanding the manipulatives, the child doesn’t need to bring the props and he can understand the problem when asked in school. Finally, how to write fractions, what are parts, halves, wholes is taught. This is the abstract concept of Math.
More than 50% of students have a hard time in fractions. You and your child are not alone. But you can help your child get ahead if you choose to let him focus on difficult Math topics. We have our ACE program to help your child if he is preparing for exams and need just a little more help on fractions or any other Math topic.