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Activities & Lesson Ideas
Tortilla Folding Fraction Activity
Webmaster note: Wow, Debora! Thanks for the awesome fraction activity idea. I love your hands-on, exploratory approach to learning.
Teaching Fractions with Tortillas
Submitted by Debora from Naples, Forida
10 inch flour tortillas (2 for each student)
Markers and marker board (one large one for all responses or individual ones for each student)
1. Each student gets 2 tortillas and puts one on top of the other.
2. The teacher explains that one tortilla equals one whole.
3. Each student carefully folds the flour tortilla in half (as the teacher models it).
4. The teacher asks students questions about what each has now and asks for math statements about what they have. Students have to concretely show their statement as well as state it.
5. Students reply and teacher writes down their responses - examples 1/2 + 1/2 = 1, 1/2 = 1/2, 1>1/2, 1/2<1
6. The students then carefully fold one half into two pieces and the teacher asks the questions again.
7. This continues until the student has one tortilla in eighths and the whole one stays the same so the students can compare and make many statements.
8. This exercise leads to many statements that can lead to establishing rules about fractions. For example - 2/2 = 1, 4/4 = 1, 8/8 = 1 If the teacher continues to ask questions and does not give the students answers, the students will discover the rules on their own. I believe this is vital for the students to "own" their learning.