Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Fraction Bracelets

We've just reached the end of our second set of Math block rotations and have come back to fractions.

After a quick review of fractions of a shape and mixed fractions we moved on to fractions of a number this week. We've been playing with cubes for the last few days but today we broke out the jewels!

These are my new math manipulatives - guaranteed to gladden the heart of any little girl (and I have 16 of them).

We practiced making different fractions of numbers (2/3 of 12; 3/4 of 20 etc ) and I was pleased to see that most of the class seem to have grasped the concept (in fact a few bright sparks have seen the multiplication/division connection and don't even need the jewels anymore. They were making up their own problems by the end of the lesson!!) There are a few students who'll need more practice but we still have time this term and we'll come back to it all again next term.

Then we moved on to the Math project of the day - making a Fraction Bracelet.

Last night I spent a considerable amount of time poking through my boxes of beads and making up 48 bags of bead combinations - enough for every child in the year group.

Each student got a bag with 30 beads, a long string of beading elastic and a sheet of directions.

First they separated their beads by colour and counted each colour - this was so I could make sure I'd counted right!!

In order to thread their beads they had to work out different fractions of a number and thread the answers :) The number of beads limited the number of fractions we could use but actually it was better to have simple ones for this activity. 

2/4 of 8 (pink beads)
1/3 of 6 (blue beads)
1/2 of 8 (clear beads)
A completed bracelet :)

My girls LOVED this project. We dressed it up by putting the bracelets into jewelry boxes that some kind person donated to the school a couple of weeks ago - and then decorated the boxes that the jewelry boxes came in!

Sparkly beads, bracelets and glitter - and all part of a Math project! The only problem my kiddies couldn't solve today was who they were going to give their project to! :)


  1. Love it! Wonder how I could "tweak" this to be co-ed for my kiddos?! Seriously--I can only IMAGINE how crazy the girls went over it!

    1. You know, I've made bracelets at summer camp before and the boys loved doing them! They made them as presents for their mom or their sister - and some of them made more than the girls :) We've also done this activity with fruit loops, making a necklace, and that's fun too.

  2. Lynn, I think if I had a wonderful teacher who encouraged me to learn fractions using sparkly beads, I might not have hated math so much! What a wonderful idea!