Wednesday, 21 December 2011

How to arrange mixed numbers (fractions) and put them in order starting with the smallest


One of our customer's contacted us asking for some teacher support.  They wanted to know how to arrange mixed numbers (fractions) and put them in order starting with the smallest.

We offered the following advice:

When ordering fractions, use 0, 1/2, and 1 as benchmarks for comparison. Drawing a long straight line and marking it with 0, 1/2 & 1 will help you to place the other fractions along the line. First work out whether the fraction is more or less than 1 (if the numerator (top) is bigger than the denominator (bottom) it is more than one if not it is less than one). If it is less than 1, check to see if it is more or less than 1/2 (if the numerator is worth more than half of the denominator then it is more than half and vice versa). Then further refine your comparisons to see if the fraction is closer to 0, 1/2, or 1.
After you organize fractions by benchmarks, you can use these methods:
  • Same denominators: If the denominators of two fractions are the same, just compare the numerators. The fractions will be in the same order as the numerators. For example, 5/7 is less than 6/7.
  • Same numerators: If the numerators of two fractions are the same, just compare the denominators. The fractions should be in the reverse order of the denominators. For example, 3/4 is larger than 3/5, because fourths are larger than fifths.
  • Compare numerators and denominators: You can easily compare fractions whose numerators are both one less than their denominators. The fractions will be in the same order as the denominators. (Think of each as being a pie with one piece missing: The greater the denominator, the smaller the missing piece, thus, the greater the amount remaining.) For example, 6/7 is less than 10/11, because both are missing one piece, and 1/11 is a smaller missing piece than 1/7.
  • Further compare numerators and denominators: You can compare fractions whose numerators are both the same amount less than their denominators. The fractions will again be in the same order as the denominators. (Think of each as being a pie with x pieces missing: The greater the denominator, the smaller the missing piece; thus, the greater the amount remaining.) For example, 3/7 is less than 7/11, because both are missing four pieces, and the 11ths are smaller than the sevenths.
  • Equivalent fractions: Find an equivalent fraction that lets you compare numerators or denominators, and then use one of the above rules.
  • Same denominators: If the denominators of two fractions are the same, just compare the numerators. The fractions will be in the same order as the numerators. For example, 5/7 is less than 6/7.
  • Same numerators: If the numerators of two fractions are the same, just compare the denominators. The fractions should be in the reverse order of the denominators. For example, 3/4 is larger than 3/5, because fourths are larger than fifths.
  • Compare numerators and denominators: You can compare fractions whose numerators (tops) are both one less than their denominators (bottoms). The fractions will be in the same order as the denominators. (Think of each as being a pie with one piece missing: The greater the denominator, the smaller the missing piece, thus, the greater the amount remaining.) For example, 6/7 is less than 10/11, because both are missing one piece, and 1/11 is a smaller missing piece than 1/7.
You can also compare fractions whose numerators are both the same amount less than their denominators. The fractions will again be in the same order as the denominators. (Think of each as being a pie with x pieces missing: The greater the denominator, the smaller the missing piece; therefore, the greater the amount remaining.) For example, 3/7 is less than 7/11, because both are missing four pieces, and the 11ths are smaller than the sevenths.  Equivalent fractions: For example 1/2 is the same as 2/4 or 4/8. Find an equivalent fraction that lets you compare numerators or denominators, and then use one of the above rules.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Why Children Fail according to Chris Lloyd

Chris Lloyd (the founder of What on Earth Books) has written what I think is a fantastic blog post on 'Why Children Fail'.  I'll let you read the post to make your own mind up, but in essence, the post argues that by attributing failures in our educational system as the root causes for declining standards, we're looking the wrong way.  It argues "it is simply to do with the removal of the idea that social responsibility for children’s education begins and ends at home".  He suggests we should  "create a raft of new interventions to support one or other (or both) parent(s) to learn alongside and spend time with their children during their education."

I really enjoyed reading this post because it struck a cord with what we are trying to do at EdPlace (providing dedicated resources that empower parents to help educate their children).  Of course it's not just about providing resources it's about much bigger issues such as creating the right economic conditions and changing society's attitudes to home education, but we hope we can make a difference in our small way.

Will


Monday, 5 September 2011

Beat the back to school blues

“And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.” Shakespeare, As You Like it, Act 2, Scene 7

Sound familiar? Perhaps things haven’t changed as much as we think they have since Shakespeare’s day! The first day back at school, or the first day at a new school, at the start of the academic year can be a bit of an upheaval after the long summer holidays. It’s a great time of year to instil a sense of ‘start as you mean to go on’ though.

Kids are equipped with fresh stationery, uniforms and books and will soon get back into the swing of things. As the rhythm of the school year gets back into place, now is an ideal time to introduce a new homework routine or time for extra practice and revision. Why not challenge yourself and your kids to 30 days of 10 minutes of maths practice using fun and engaging materials for example? Apparently 30 days is all it takes for something new to become a habit. Starting afresh at this time of year will be much easier than introducing something that seems additional to your child’s routine mid-year.

Make going back to school fun too though. Make time in the evenings for fun activities that are reminiscent of the summer holidays. Reward the introduction of any new after school routines with a barbeque evening or unexpected trip to the park to make the most of longer light evenings while they last. It’s important that the school year isn’t only about work and routine – getting into the habit of easing into the school year will make it seem less daunting next year. You never know, you might even find your kids looking forward to getting back to school!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Printable worksheets - sometimes only pen and paper will do

As part of our new interactive site we're keeping the ability to download and print worksheets.  We're a big believer in using new technology to enrich education, however there's a time when nothing will beat good old pen and paper.  That's why we are making all our worksheets available to download via PDF.  Here's an example of the design.

Monday, 15 August 2011

EdPlace interactive slideshow

We've put together some slides showing you the interactive features and how they are coming together. Of course, we'd love to hear from you, so please let us know what you think.

Friday, 5 August 2011

EdPlace's new look

We're pleased to announce that EdPlace's new look is live.  Our new site is a interim site whilst we work on the interactive features that will be coming soon (read about these here).











The main updates to the site are integrating the new branding (with Eddie the owl) and simplifying the pricing structure.  Previously there were many different subscription types depending on what type of user you are and what area you're interested in.  We've now simplified the subscription to 1 type for all users, with only 3 subscription options.  One of which is a simple 1 month access, giving you much more flexibility if you need it.

We hope you like the changes and please let us know what you think.

Friday, 1 July 2011

RE lessons dropped by schools

Some schools are ditching Religious Education lessons because the subject doesn’t count towards the English Baccalaureate. The proposals for the ‘E-bacc’, as it is known, are that pupils need to gain five A*-C grades in English, Maths, Science, a foreign language and either History or Geography.

Many schools are cutting back on RE lessons, which are compulsory for 14-16 year olds but do not have to be taken as a GCSE. There was a surge in interest in RE after the 9/11 terrorist attacks as young people sought to understand more about different religions but the subject will now suffer as schools choose to focus their efforts on the core subjects required for the ‘E-bacc’.

The Department for Education says they do not want 'schools to restrict options to just this academic core or to force these qualifications on pupils for whom they are clearly not suitable. The core has deliberately been kept small to allow the opportunity for additional study – whether that is in other GCSEs or vocational qualifications. There are valuable and rigorous academic qualifications that are not in the English Baccalaureate that pupils need to be free to take according to their personal interests, aptitudes and ambitions.'