Visual Fractions is a site developed to aid students in their understanding of fractions and computations with fractions. The author notes, "Rational Numbers are better understood when seen." This online tutorial offers instruction and practice in identifying, renaming and mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) on fractions. All examples are modeled with number lines or circles.
The purpose of Visual Fractions, as stated on their website, is to picture fractions and the operations of fractions.
Target Student Population:
K-8, preservice and inservice teachers
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic knowledge of computers and beginning knowledge of fractions, although the section on identifying fractions gets to the basics.
Type of Material:
Elementary and middle level classrooms, math methods classes
The Visual Fractions program requires Flash Player 9 or above.
Evaluation and Observation
This math website provides valid concepts through the use of numerous models of fractions using both lines and circle examples. The visual and interactive fraction slide shows and worksheets clearly illustrate fraction concepts.
The fraction concepts are presented with step-by-step instructions and feedback. There is also an "Explain" button with each of the faction problems to assist students with text and an illustration if they do not understand the problem.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This would be an excellent website for teachers in elementary and middle schools to use as introduction or review of fractions. It would also work well as a center activity for students to use at computers.
Teacher education faculty could use the website as an example of an excellent resource for teacher candidates to use with their students in the elementary and middle schools. The fraction examples could assist the teacher candidates in their math methods of teaching fraction concepts.
The games are particularly useful in working on estimating fractional parts.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The website is well organized and easy to navigate. There is usually more than one way to access each of the teaching and learning areas. There are access buttons on the top, on the left side, and additional information with links down the pages. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and to keep students on-task.
There is no charge to use Visual Fractions, but they do suggest by donating five dollars it would help cover costs of maintaining the web site.
There is also an option to order the Visual Fraction Tutorial online or on a CD.