I need to do a hands-on fractions lesson. I have 7th graders but I have the intervention kids and they dont understand the concept of fractions so we are reviewing. I want to do something with food and measuring cups...any ideas???

Scholastic has a neat clay activity in one of their books--you use measuring spoons to mix different color clay following a "recipe." It works on the concept of a whole, asking students to figure out the missing recipe quantity to equal one whole. An example would be: 1/2 teaspoon blue + __?__ teaspoon red = 1 whole teaspoon _______ Students use knowledge of fractions (and mine used fraction bars) to figure out what was missing, then to actually mix the colors together and record the new color. I used egg carton trays for places to store the new colors so there wouldn't be a mess.

What about bringing in a pie and asking the kids what sections of the pie they want - or want to give to a peer. (Would you prefer 2/5 of the pie, or 3/8?) You can use string the show what the sections really would be, the grandfinale would be eating the pie. with measuring cups, you could use water or some kind of largish granules. maybe get sets of cups from the dollar store and have kids figure out how many 1/3 cups go into 1 cup, compare other fractions. Mave them make up bowls of different fractions (2/3 vs 3/4 etc)

I've actually used brownies to teach fractions and it worked out great!! We were able to actually cut brownies in halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixes and up to sixteenths. (Although it was a 3rd grade class!)

I am doing this unit right now. I have done the pizza, we talked about how much a slice is of the whole. I first cut it in half, then in quarters, then in 1/8ths. We talked about equivalent fractions and size comparisons. We also took a "field trip" to the shop and organized wrenches and sockets to have a hands on comparison of the fractional sizes. I've done apple slices (we didn't count the core. . .) smarties for practicing changing improper fractions into mixed numbers. We've made displays of equivalent fractions for 1/2, 1/4, and 1/3. (circles cut into quarters, 1/4 colored = 2/8 colored, etc). I have an activity that I'm saving until after I've covered percents. Each student gets a bag of Skittles and they need to record how many of each color are in the bag, then write it as a fraction, then a percent, then make a pie graph. Another thing I want to do is find a no-bake cookie recipe that they can practice using measuring cups. I have 3 boys and they love to eat so I try to incorporate it into the lesson or use it as an incentive! Good luck!

I went to a workshop and they had a whole bunch of ideas using Hershey Bars because they are divided into those little sections. There's also that Eric activity called Mars Fraction Hunt, where they use fractions of words to decipher a riddle that leads them to a Mars bar. My class loves that one and I have them work in pairs so there are two candy bars. I always make sure to have a "secondary" treat for every group.

Here's a fun idea for fractions. Use fraction circles or squares, have each student pick no more than 3 different fraction pieces. They use them as stencils to create either people or animals (reuse each fraction piece more than once, trace around them). They then identify the various fractional parts, write equations, find common denominators, and find the sum. Then they can color them in and even give them names. Mine loved this.

In the book 'Family Math' there is a fraction kit which your kiddos can make. See if a colleague has it. It's a great book. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/Family-Math-Equals-Jean-Stanmark/dp/0912511060

Hershey Bar Fractions I taught my students fractions using a hershey bar. One bar is divided up into twelve pieces. I start with a whole bar as 1, then break it in half to show one half of a whole bar, and so on. I did it as a teacher modeled activity, but if you have the funds it would be great if each student has a Hershey bar for themselves. It also rewards them by letting them eat it afterward.

I have done several of these types of activities before using the candy, food, etc. Unfortunately for me (and the kids!), we are no longer allowed to use candy as an incentive, reward, or lesson manipulative. We have a new health and wellness policy in place this year and all of those "goodies" are on the no-no list. Kids aren't quite as excited when you have to substitute a health food in place of the candy. I haven't come across anything healthy enough to be allowed that works well with the math activities. Any suggestions?