Do fractions make you sweat? Whether you are a student or a parent helping a student, I've found five sites that will take you by the hand and explain everything you've always feared you could never learn about fractions. Take a deep breath. Let's go.
Dozens of colorfully illustrated pages with explanatory lessons and interactive practice games make All About Fractions my pick of the day. Using the Table of Contents, you can jump directly to one of ten chapters (such as Multiplying Fractions, Reducing Fractions and Comparing fractions) or start at the beginning (Basic Fractions) and use the Next Lesson link to continue through the site. My favorite clicks are the timed exercises you'll find at the bottom of each lesson page.
This introductory Fractions lesson from the BBC is divided into four parts: a multimedia activity, a fact sheet, a printable worksheet, and an online test. When you are done, there are other number lessons to explore, including Percentages, Multiplication, Division and Using a Calculator. After you have mastered all the concepts in the Numbers chapter, stop by the Gamezone (link is in the left-hand column) to play a fun math game. "Your mission is to see how far you can navigate your submarine on a fuel of scallops." Sounds odd, I know, but it includes oodles of math problems to solve.
These colorful geometric puzzles and exercises for elementary and middle school students are just plain fun. Oh, and did I mention they were educational too? My favorite is the interactive Pattern Blocks (you'll find at the "online" link in item two on the front page.) Don't miss it! Author Cynthia Lanius of Rice University explains it this way "These activities are designed to cause students to think; they are not algorithmic. They do not say, ï¿½To add fractions, do step one, step two, step three.' Students will explore geometric models of fractions and discover relations among them."
In the first three lessons at this Fractions site from Kids Online Resources, students drag and drop fractional shapes to fill the whole. It's just like playing with manipulatives, but it's virtual. Other lessons include Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying and Dividing Fractions, along with Reducing Fractions, and Improper & Mixed Fractions. More math lessons can be found at the Me & My Math link at the bottom of the menu page.
"Fractions are better understood when seen." Visual Fractions is a collection of interactive worksheets using graphics to represent fractions. Some of the worksheets use circles, others use lines, and still others let you choose whether you want to visualize your fractions as parts of a circle or parts of a line. There is even a selection of games based on fractions! "Grampy's favorite game is hide and seek. He is hiding at a fractional distance between the beginning and the end of the hedge."