Whole lot of fun

10th November 2006 at 00:00
Mention fractions to most children and they'll just go to pieces and wish a hole would swallow them up. Well, one way of getting the jigsaw pieces to fit is to try a game of fractured names. This is a maths breakdown with a difference.

It works like this. Get children to write down the name JAMES BOND. Now ask them to count all the letters that make up the whole name. There are 9 individual letters. Now explain that the whole can be broken into parts such as vowels and consonants. How many vowels out of 9 are there? There are 39. How many consonants are there? There are 69. Add the two parts together and what do you get? 39 + 69 = 99, which is another way of saying a whole because 9 divided by 9 is 1, that is one whole one.

Encourage children to investigate their own names and those of their friends first, then let them break down the names of famous people to add to their collection.

A fractured names investigation helps children make some important first steps in understanding that fractions are bits of a whole and a whole lot of fun too

John Dabell is a numeracy consultant who will be providing ideas for teaching numeracy each week

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