Fraction pizza type toys and games
Use fraction pizza type toys to help children understand fractions. Children need plenty of play to develop fraction number sense before they are asked to do operations (add, subtract, multiply...) with fractions.
Children are working towards being able to visualize fractions and understanding that fraction segments are equal parts of larger objects.
Play time tips:
- Allow children to discover the toys for the first week or two without adult interference or teaching
- Play with children during center times, counting pieces, describing the shapes of the pieces and introducing fraction terms
- Help children explore how to place equivalent shapes together to create a whole (for instance, children will learn that the curved side of a pie shaped segment is on the outside when creating a circle)
- During play, the children will observe that putting equivalent segments together in a certain way creates a new larger shape
At circle or group times:
- Demonstrate games with the toys during group times, introducing math vocabulary, then place the toys back into the centers, E.G. "Let's share the apples between 4 children. Which cut apple toy would we use?"
- As a group count how many pieces make a whole fraction pizza, pie or cake, etc.
- As a group, mix up some pieces, such as brownie square segments and pie shaped segments and then try and make a whole pie with them. Talk about the mixed shapes and how they don't make up a whole pan of brownies or a whole pie and why (they are not the same shape or equivalent)
Fraction play toys
The Melissa and Doug company make good quality fraction pizza type wooden toys that are suitable for fraction games and promote fraction number sense. Choose play items with pieces that are the same shape and size and fit together to make a whole object.
The wooden fraction pizza game consists of six "slices" that are held together by Velcro. Each piece has three Velcro disks for attaching the pizza toppings.
Children can assemble the pizza on the green pizza tray, using pepperoni, mushroom, or peppers, or a combination of the three toppings.
Once the pizza is "ready," the child can use the pizza cutter to cut the pizza. It has a rolling blade, just like the real utensil, and since the pizza slices are held together with Velcro, it makes a crunching sound when it's cut. Students can share pizza segments with other students with the included server.
This wooden set features a storage crate, seven sliceable fruits and a knife. It is useful for showing the difference between segments that are the same size and shape and segments that are different sizes and shapes. The seven pieces of fruit are "sliceable" and can be cut into a total of 17 pieces. A great way to introduce the concepts of part, whole and fractions.
This toy features four wooden pie pieces with removable top crust pieces, sliceable apple, knife, pie server, pie plate and oven mitt.
Use this toy to introduce the fraction terms of whole, part, one quarter and one half.
As children play, they will observe that the four pieces make a whole pie and two pieces make half a pie.
The teaching opportunities with this toy are many. Children can...
- count how many brownie pieces make a whole pan of brownies
- count the brownie toppings
- act out addition and subtraction stories, 3 chocolate brownies and 3 nut brownies equal 6 all together, if I eat one, I have 5 left
Students can decorate the brownies with 18 assorted toppings and cut and serve with the wooden knife and spatula. The extra toppings can be stored in the cardboard brownie mix box.