Maths for my daughter needs to include using her hands and being involved. Giving her worksheet after worksheet without using manipulatives does not work for her. While we have been working on decimals we have once again been using our Learning Resources Fraction Tower Cubes Equivalency Set. We first started using these when we looked at Equivalent fractions and my daughter loved them.
In case you have not seen this set before they have the fraction on one side, the decimal on the other and then the percentage a third side. The set comes with 9 different towers – whole, halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths and twelfths.
They are also all made to scale so the half piece is the same size as two of the quarter pieces or three of the sixth pieces. We have found them to be brilliant fraction manipulatives to have in the house (and they appear to be fairly hard-wearing – we have used them quite a bit over the past year including having the pieces mixed up with play dough, on the kitchen table covered in flour and cookie dough and so far we have been able to clean them every time. My sons also dropped them onto a hard floor and they were fine).
They are great for kids to use when they are learning how to convert fractions to decimals (or percentages) and are perfect for some basic decimal sums. We used them as a visual way of showing that adding and multiplying decimals is not such a scary thing. (Can not stress how is makes multiplying decimals easy – 6 groups of 0.1 is 0.6. When I first mention multiplying decimals my daughter looked a bit shocked but when we started talking about it with the cube pieces she totally understood).
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