Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fractions are my favorite

and all my kids know it! I still remember my wonderful first grade teacher, Mrs. King, teaching us about fractions and boy did that lesson stick. Since I've been teaching first grade I've always started the unit just like she did.

1)Write some fractions on the board and show the kids a big pack of chocolate chip cookies, boy does that get their attention and stir up some excitement!

2)Let the kids vote for which fraction of a cookie they want. Now at this point I have not explained what a fraction is so they have no idea what the numbers mean. I just tell them these are fractions, they're my favorite part of math ever, and we're going to be learning about them. I also tell them that nobody will get a whole cookie to themselves they will only get a piece so this helps them realize that a fraction is just a piece.

3)Cut up the cookies (using a doc. camera so they can all see) and this is when we really talk about what a fraction is and what the numbers mean. We compare the size of one half, one fourth, and one eighth. Being the nice teacher that I am, I give them a chance to change their mind and vote again and wouldn't you know, they all want one half!

This is how they voted before we cut up the cookies.


  1. Love teaching fractions, too! Have you used the old book, Alligator is really good =)
    First Grade Blue Skies

  2. What a great idea! :) I'd have to use those Soft batch cookies though- {wait do they make those anymore?}


  3. Jennifer- I haven't read that book! I'm going to have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

    Jennifer (whoops, I'm responding to two Jennifers!)- Definitely get soft cookies! My 1st grade teachers actually used apples, but those are way to hard to cut into even fractions so I went the non-healthy route with cookies. But I figured half a cookie wouldn't hurt too much.

  4. The doc camera is a good idea. I bet Mrs. King didn't have that! I think the revote is a great idea too!

  5. All of the sudden i can't wait to start on fractions!! thanx for this GREAT idea!

  6. What a great introduction to fractions. That would certainly help me remember!

    Misty @
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  7. This is such a great project! I wish my school district let us use food! :(

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  8. Thank you so much for this idea. I begin fractions tomorrow and will do this!
    Barrow's Hodgepodge

  9. U used this today!! ((and i was being evaluated no less!!)) the kids LOVED it.. My Superintendent LOVED it.. In fact.. he wrote his fraction as 99/100!!!! lol

    fund times!!