We are massive fans of the Oaka Books Topic Packs. We use them for History, Science and Geography so I was naturally a bit curious to see what their Fraction Topic Packs looked like (they have 2 Fraction Topic Packs).
It’s brilliant – they have a Topic Booklet which explains the fractions concepts, a Write Your Own Notes where the kids get to practice a bit of what they learnt and some cards to go with it.
My son loved that his Maths was turned into a fun topic pack. He found the booklets engaging and interesting (which for my son means he remembered what he read), he enjoyed doing the write your own notes (in fact he asked if more of his Maths could come in this format) and of course the cards where a winner (any card activity always trumps worksheets in our house).
We started with the first Fraction topic pack and then went onto the second. With the first one we stuck to their exact order but with the second topic pack we did jump around a bit (but as I have said before with all of the Topic Packs I have found you can work through in their order or you can tackle the different sections in your own order – both work).
So what do they cover?
The topic booklet starts with explaining what a fraction is (the numerator vs the denominator, equal parts etc). Then in goes onto simplifying fractions, ordering and comparing fractions, common denominator, mixed fractions and improper fractions. (I would suggest that your kids are happy with their times tables before you start this pack as you use multiplying and dividing for simplifying fractions).
The Write Your Own Notes (think fraction workbook). It starts with pages where the kids need to colour in the correct fraction, then they have to write the fraction for each image and then write the fraction for the image and simplify the fraction. They also include some fraction story sums (I am a massive fan of giving the kids lots of story sum practice). There are some pages where the kids are asked to colour in different shapes to show fractions in a different way. And onto mixed fractions, then comparing fractions and examples where they need to simplify the fractions. And yes there are answers at the back.
The cards included are a number of equivalent fraction cards which they suggest you can play a version of fraction snap with. We used the cards for a straight forward matching activity.
The Second Fraction Topic Pack is harder then the first and the kids would need to understand the fraction concepts in the first in order to do the activities in the second.
The Topic Booklet has a 1 page summary of the concepts covered in the first pack and then it goes straight into multiplying fractions, multiplying mixed fractions and dividing mixed fractions. Then it moved onto adding and subtracting fractions and adding and subtracting mixed fractions (we actually did this section first and then did the multiplying and dividing section). And then a quick summary
The Write Your Own Notes starts with a glossary for the kids to fill in (I actually like this idea because it makes the kids think about the definitions). Then worked examples for multiplying and dividing fractions. They include 3 pages called “what fraction is it” – which are basic story sum activities. Onto adding and subtracting examples and finally some more diving fraction practice. And yes answers at the back.
The second pack come with a set of cards that have fractions and percentages on them so the kids can use them for a number of matching activities. (Really useful set).
We liked these topic packs. My son enjoyed the way they explain fractions and he enjoyed working through the Write Your Own Notes. However I do want to state the exercises include in the Write Your Own notes are not going to be sufficient as your only source. If you home educate your kids you will need to give them some extra practice pages. (If you look on the TeachitPrimary website you will find some extra Free fraction pages to download and use as extra practice)
I love the fact that they have used their Oaka Books way of doing things to cover fractions and I am hoping that maybe just maybe they will extend their Maths range and possibly come up with a Geometry Topic Pack in the future.