# Review: Manipulatives for Fraction Lessons

Fractions were never my favorite topic as a student: the concept was boring and hard to understand using the typical books and worksheets. Now that it’s time to learn fractions during our 1st and 2nd grade math lessons, I knew I would take a different approach.

My children were just introduced to fractions and division for the first time last week. The next week, we started applying our fraction lessons to hands on activities with the ShillerMath Fraction Kit. My kids are learning the concept quickly, probably because they are loving the hands on lessons. The big difference between the way I learned fractions and how they’re learning is the way it’s being taught to them. Fractions are far more exciting when you can build them, rather than just learning from a book and worksheets.

What makes the ShillerMath Fractions Kit such a great way to teach with and to learn from?

Here are some of the benefits I found in using this program:

• Fun and colorful
• Multi-sensorial curriculum
• Montessori-based
• No prep or knowledge needed
• Easy to teach with

The ShillerMath Fractions Kit comes with:

• 2 Sets of fraction circles Montessori-based manipulatives (including sevenths and ninths!)
• A fractions lesson book: a guide with well-designed lessons, taught step-by-step with picture illustrations
• A parent guide
• Tracking sheets
• Diagnostic tests with answer keys
• Oh and a big surprise gift for the customers. I won’t spoil the surprise but I just loved it and you will too! Amazing how the company even thought about sending their customers a thank you gift that is truly sweet!

### Fun and colorful

My kids were excited about ShillerMath Fractions Kit from the moment we picked up our mail. The books are beautiful and the manipulatives are fun and colorful. The fraction circles are a big hit for the little ones who love hands on learning. These multi-sensorial manipulatives help students of any learning styles to be engaged in the lessons and to learn about fractions in visual, kinesthetic and practical ways.

The ShillerMath Fractions Kit is geared for multiple grades, so you will only need one kit for the years to come. As a homeschooling family living in one income, this also helps us to save money. This great program will continue to teach our kids well as they go from 1st grade math, to 2nd grade math, to 3rd grade math, and all the way to high school. The fractions program will always be a good reference book to go to when the need to review and build upon our fractions concepts.

Here are some math concepts I saw my kids learning right away by using the manipulatives (we have a kindergartener, a 1st grader and a 2nd grader):

• Subtraction with fractions
• Division
• Multiplication
• Patterns

### Multi-sensorial curriculum

This was my children’s very first exposure to most of these math concepts. What I saw happening at our coffee table was so exciting. As they laid down the fraction circles on the table, they began to try to replace one fraction with another in order to fit the spaces and still make it a whole. I saw my 4 year old, my 6 year old and my 8 year old discovering great math concepts and enjoying it. We had great conversations as we put the circles together or broke them apart and created our own “games” with the fractions circles.

#### Hands on learning

My kids quickly learned that 2 ¼ pieces was the same as ½. They learned that 2 ½ or 3 1/3 pieces make a whole. They mixed and matched different colors and created patterns that would fit the gaps perfectly. They learned the concept of division, multiplication and to add and to subtract fractions while playing. By the time I got started with our first lesson, their eyes were filled with curiosity to learn more about it. They were eager to keep going with the lessons; they were engaged and confidently used the fraction circles to respond and to illustrate the answers to the questions.

#### Online resources

The benefits of this program do not end on what it comes in the box. ShillerMath has created fantastic resources available to their customers in their website. Once you register online and log in, you have access to downloads, ebooks, sample lessons, homeschool math blog and even webinars that give teachers and parents more confidence and better equip them to teach using their programs. ShillerMath even provides you with a Lesson Plan Builder online.

### No prep or knowledge needed

My favorite part of the program is that parents and teachers are not required to have any previous knowledge before teaching using this math program. Even if you are not familiar with the Montessori approach, the lessons guide tells you step-by-step what to say and what to do. Neither is any preparation required before teaching any lessons. ShillerMath has thought about every detail of both processes: the process of teaching and of learning fractions to students of multiple ages, grades and learning styles using their program, which it’s brilliant!

ShillerMath Fractions is not only efficient and easy for us to teach and for the kids to understand important math concepts they will use for life, but also save us, parents and teachers, a lot of time preparing to teach. Tutors or parents can use the kit to help their students learn fractions or to reinforce their math lessons.

I am very excited to continue to use this program for kindergarten math, 1st grade math, and 2nd grade math homeschool lessons. I would gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a great Math Fractions curriculum.

More resources for fraction lessons: