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Fraction Apps

February 16, 2012

I will be the first to admit that I am a bit of a techno-junkie. I can get lured in by the hype and new technology that is cool. However, this same technology is good for engaging people in learning and help to solidify concepts. One area in particular that I think opportunity knocks is in examining mathematics concepts. What area could benefit more from this than developing an understanding of fractions.

In my previous job I had lots of opportunity to discuss mathematics concepts with university professors, parents, teachers and students. In many of these conversation fractions was brought up as an issue for students. It also seems to me that fractions have been an issue for as long as I can remember. I know many people I attended school with found fractions difficult. I even met one person, around the year 2004) who cited a study which showed that student performance on fraction operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and simplification) had not improved or gotten worse since 1971. I have since lost this study but if anyone who reads this knows of it I would love to find it again.

I think many of the issues about fractions are actually related to an understanding of proportional reasoning. The relationship between part of something (or a set of things) and the whole can be hard for students to understand.Developing benchmarks is essential when estimating and checking the reasonableness of calculations with fractions.

I also think that there are some apps which help develop this understanding. A couple of my favourites are listed below:

Motion Math– One of my favourites this app is great for developing benchmarks. It can also be addictive and make students forget they are playing a math game.  “Developed at the Stanford School of Education, Motion Math HD follows a star that has fallen from space, and must bound back up, up, up to its home in the stars. Moving fractions to their correct place on the number line is the only way to return. By playing Motion Math, learners improve their ability to perceive and estimate fractions in multiple forms.”

Number Line – This app is great for developing benchmarks for fractions, decimals and percents. The app relates these quantities using a number line. “Number Line is an educational game app to help students learn about fractions, decimals, and percents by ordering equivalent fractions, decimals, and percents on a number line. The app features multiple levels where the player must drag circles with either a percent, decimal or fraction onto a number line in the correct sequence. A score is earned based on the time it takes to put all the circles in the correct order (faster is better), plus points for each correct placement, minus points for each error. ”
Fraction Factory – “Enter the Fraction Factory and use your math skills to place fractions into their correct positions on a number line. When the game begins, fraction gears will move across the screen on a conveyor belt. Use your finger and drag the fraction gear to where you think they should go on the number line at the top of the screen. ”

I am sure that as I continue my search I will find more. In the meantime I hope you enjoy the ones listed below and … I am always open to recommendations.

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