Introduction to Fractions

Trixie using her fingers to show two and one-half.
                   Trixie using one-half of her thumb to represent one-half of a mouse.

Fractions are used to count collections of objects that cannot be counted using only whole numbers - for example, I might need two and one-half oranges for a fruit salad and I might take a bike ride of one and seven-tenths miles. I need more than 2 oranges, but fewer than 3. I rode more than 1 mile, but not as much as 2.

This part of my website is about how to teach your children to "count" such collections. The basic idea is to give them problems to solve - problems that require them to count using fractions.

This "counting" should be the basis of all instruction in fractions. Only after children have learned to count should they be introduced to the symbols that we use (like 1/2 and 7/10) and to adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

I believe that children as young as 4 and 5 can learn to count with fractions. This part of the website will show you how to help them to do that.