One of the tragedies of mathematics is the simple fraction. Without an understanding of the fraction, it is difficult for children to grasp the concepts of ratio, proportion, percents, and decimals. The concept of the fraction is essential for solving equations in Algebra. Parents can give their children an advantage by teaching them through other venues. Children can learn fractions when eating pizza, playing music or mixing colors. There are other venues as well such as playing cards or playing with money.

It does require a little extra prompting but the little time spent talking fractions is well worth the small effort. Many students taking a college entrance test fail the mathematics portion because they never learned their fractions. Teachers today are required to teach so many things that the fraction is sometimes left out of proper curriculum. It is taught but rarely reinforced because mathematical concepts are not threaded throughout the curriculum through succeeding grades.

Cutting out art, music, woodshop, and home economics can further affect the available venues for reinforcing the concept of fractions.

How hard would it be to teach a child about fractions when cutting a pizza? Just take the time to talk fractions.

“First cut the pizza down the middle. Cut it in two equal parts. Each part is then one out of two or one half. If you cut each of the halves down the middle again, you will have four equal parts and each part is then one fourth. One fourth is smaller than one half. Again, if you cut each of those parts in half, you will have eight parts and each part is then one eighth of the pizza.”

You can take this process one step further by cutting only one half of the pizza into four parts so that the child gains an understanding that the four parts are equal to one half. One half of eight is four.

It isn’t necessary to point out what a numerator is or a denominator. They will learn that in mathematics but if the child wants to know, the parent should know. The total number of parts is the denominator or the bottom number, and the part of the pizza is the numerator or top of the fraction.

Next, the money venue.

It does require a little extra prompting but the little time spent talking fractions is well worth the small effort. Many students taking a college entrance test fail the mathematics portion because they never learned their fractions. Teachers today are required to teach so many things that the fraction is sometimes left out of proper curriculum. It is taught but rarely reinforced because mathematical concepts are not threaded throughout the curriculum through succeeding grades.

Cutting out art, music, woodshop, and home economics can further affect the available venues for reinforcing the concept of fractions.

How hard would it be to teach a child about fractions when cutting a pizza? Just take the time to talk fractions.

“First cut the pizza down the middle. Cut it in two equal parts. Each part is then one out of two or one half. If you cut each of the halves down the middle again, you will have four equal parts and each part is then one fourth. One fourth is smaller than one half. Again, if you cut each of those parts in half, you will have eight parts and each part is then one eighth of the pizza.”

You can take this process one step further by cutting only one half of the pizza into four parts so that the child gains an understanding that the four parts are equal to one half. One half of eight is four.

It isn’t necessary to point out what a numerator is or a denominator. They will learn that in mathematics but if the child wants to know, the parent should know. The total number of parts is the denominator or the bottom number, and the part of the pizza is the numerator or top of the fraction.

Next, the money venue.