Decimal and fraction equivalence matching sets are sometimes difficult for children to conceptualize. In the article below, Montessori teacher Diane Knesek shares some free hands-on lessons that you can use right now in your school or home classroom.
Decimal and Fraction Equivalence Matching Set by Dianne Knesek
Students learn that there are different ways to write the same value. For example, one out of ten can be written as the fraction. We usually read this as one tenth. Another way to write one tenth is .1, sometimes read as point one. It is not unusual to see this also written as 0.1 because there are no units and one tenth. Actually, writing fractions as base-ten decimals is a very easy way to work with them because operations are based on the same principles as operations with whole numbers.
Maria Montessori devised an entire series of exercises based on a color-coded place value system and that illustrates that working with decimal fractions is very similar to working with base ten whole numbers. Hands-on materials include color-coded beads, cubes, decimal board, decimal cards, and stamp game variation. These are all excellent in helping the student discover the value and relationships of decimal fraction hierarchies as well as operations with decimal fractions.
After the student has worked with the appropriate level of hands-on materials, he or she may follow up with Conceptual Learning Material’s “bridging” materials. One very popular series is the ten-exercise Decimal – Fraction Equivalence matching set. Decimal/Fraction Equivalence Instructions and two sample exercises can be found by visiting http://www.amonco.org/Conceptual_Summer2015.pdf
Conceptual Learning Materials’ decimal series emphasizes concepts and applications. Other sets in the series include Decimal Cards, Decimal Introduction, Decimal Number Line and Labels, Decimal Order, Percent, and Advanced Decimals.
For additional Montessori math products and resources, please visit Conceptual Learning Materials.