Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fractions and apps

Right now I am searching for apps to help my students become more comfortable with fractions.  It is not that easy because too many of the fraction apps are made for younger children and I teach high school but work with the middle school and elementary school teachers on finding age appropriate apps.  Last night I downloaded several apps and the first one I explored I think will work well with my students.
I found Chicken Coop Fraction Game which offers one free game and the in order to unlock the others you have to purchase the rest.  Usually, the first level or game is so simple, it is not worth looking at but this one focuses on a skill that most of my students cannot do and that is estimate on a number line where the fraction lies. 

This game takes place in a chicken coop with two chickens perched above a number line, bums facing the number line.  You are given a fraction to locate on the number line.  Once you mark the number line, the chickens lay eggs aimed at the area. If you are close enough, you will hit the target.  The line is in decimal format but the fraction you are given is not so students have to learn the decimal equivalent. 
You have a choice of simple fractions easy (1/4), simple fractions hard (7/9)  mixed fractions easy and hard, and a couple of others.  I found it rather challenging doing the simple fractions hard and was able to make educated guesses but my students would end up working to find the write decimal location.
I plan to add this to the ipads because my students do not estimate well and find decimals and fractions extremely hard to estimate.  On estimating the answer to whole number problems, they do the actual math and then round the answer.  I believe this will app will help them develop a skill set they need badly.
I will try to upload a screen shot later tonight.