Math Background

Fractions and Probability: When Students Ask

  • Why do I need to know about fractions?
    Talk about “fair shares” and why people often want to have equal amounts. Then brainstorm to name situations in which people use fractions. Bring in recipes and directions for simple crafts and sewing projects to stimulate the discussion about the need to know about fractions.
  • How do I name the parts of a whole?
    Put together two connecting cubes, each of a different color. Explain that you have created a whole shape. Point out that the shape is made up of two equal parts. Emphasize that each part is one half. Repeat with three cubes, naming thirds. Then repeat with four cubes, naming fourths.
  • What can I predict when I use a spinner?
    Invite children to bring in spinners from games they play at home and make a collection of spinners from games available at your school. Discuss how the spinners are divided, naming fractional parts when possible. Talk about spinners that appear to be “fair” and “unfair” and why they are fair or unfair. Ask questions about a given spinner that are related to probability, such as, What color do you think I will spin this time? Why?

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 1