As I was doing my holiday shopping, I couldn’t help but be a little self-indulgent and look around for cool books and classroom tools for teaching fractions. As a former teacher, I would often wish Santa would bring me cool toys to test and use in my classroom. So, if you’re looking for a few great educational toys or a gift for a teacher here are some ideas!
You might want to shop around, since I haven’t shopped for the best prices, but you can use some of the search terms or just use the links.
Fraction Circles & Magnets. Most teachers use fraction rods but don’t necessarily invest more money for fraction circles. One set is about $6, but I’d recommend at least 4-5 sets for a classroom teacher. A quick search on Amazon, and you can find these sets as Fraction Magnets, which are great for the home or for displaying problems on white boards.
Fraction Model Mulitpliers (Grades 5 +). I love this tool! Only $15, you can overlay these translucent graphs to visually represent multiplication with fractions. Look at the bottom middle image that takes 1/2 of 1/3.
Books on Mathematical Mindset. I love Jo Boaler’s work! My favorite is Mathematical Mindset, which does a great job teaching parents and teachers how to help children build confidence in solving math problems. She also has some great investigations in her series Mindset Mathematics, which has fantastic ideas for the classroom. Every teacher should have these.
Clever Catch – Fraction, Decimal and Percent Ball. As a teacher, I was too cheap to buy one of these for myself ($12 for a beach ball!) so I’d buy a plain beach ball and put the questions on it myself. It’s a fun classroom activity that involves tossing the ball to students and having them answer questions that fall under their left thumb. Spoil a teacher and get the fancy ball! They’ll appreciate it!
Fraction Comic Books. A perfect winter gift for 5th grade teachers since fraction division is introduced in late December or early January, and 6th grade teachers love them, too. If you’re looking for a unique gift to help your children learn fraction multiplication and division, these are now available as a set for $8.00. It’s in a comic book format so stuff a stocking for any child from 4-8th grade.
Of course since I wrote the comic books, I think they’re the best gift idea! Just remember the comic books come with plenty of free resources, including a new lesson plan and activity set .
Fraction Formula Game. Honestly, I have no idea if this works, but it looks pretty cool and got good reviews on Amazon. I’d love to try it so I’m putting it on my wish list (to my family: hint, wink, hint!)
These are just a few things I found today, but I’ll add more when I’m done with my holiday shopping! Happy Holidays!