Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fractions in Lower Elementary

My Boys' Teacher over at What Did We Do All Day just posted about fractions and asked for some samples.
His chosen embellishments for this page
include math signs and the number 3 ;)
He mounted this paper onto colored paper
and inserted into a 3 ring folder as a portfolio.

I went to pull my son's math folder... and found in our recent un-organization of our home... the folder is pretty much missing. I did find the folder Lego Boy started in the co-op with some of that year's sample work.

And he so graciously offered to create some samples on graph paper to show how he has written fractions on graph paper in the past. Unfortunately he did not go back to the basic-of-basics and instead did what "he" considers basic which is equivalency within operations. ;)

This is smaller graph paper than the first graph paper he used, but it hopefully still gets the idea across? There is no one right way...

But I did have an order of operations in fraction writing, not so much from any album but from what seemed to follow the child at the time:

  • start him on blank paper - showing both ways in our culture for writing fractions (horizontal line and slanted line)
  • then large large squared paper (each fraction in a square); 
  • then larger graph paper, with a number, then line, then number, then space - each in their own squares ---- in order to align numerators, denominators, fractions bars, equal signs, etc. 
  • regular graph paper, with the entire fraction written within a square - he can now write smaller AND this gets him ready for writing mixed number (whole numbers with a fractional portion). The whole number written big in the square and the fraction written within its own square. 
  • He can write them out on lined paper as well, but true to Montessori, we try to stick with graph paper for math work. The graph paper helps with organization, mathematical principles, drawing out samples in geometry and multiplication  etc. --- it just FEEDS that MATHEMATICAL mind, where lined paper feeds the LANGUAGE of writing. 

Later, we will explore other cultures' ways of writing fractions. 

Also, I offer this file I created when my son was in primary. It is a printable file for the labeling and basic operations with fractions - I'd forgotten about this one and was about to share a funny looking one that worked and fit into our tacklebox we used - but is not "ideal" - I am so happy I found this one for you all!

Montessori Fractions: Labels and Simple Operations

I did start another file for sample elementary level problems; I will fix it up and have it included in the elementary albums at Keys of the Universe - if you're in that course and don't see it up soon, please do bug me about it ;) I am good-natured about those sort of things ;)


  1. Thanks! I'll get make sure I link to this in one of my fractions posts this week to get people over here.

  2. Thanks for this! I am beginning to incorporate Montessori in our homeschool, and my son is working on fractions next week - I have been looking for some ways to do fractions with him and this helps :)

  3. I am going to be putting this work in my children's hands right after Thanksgiving. This is great! I appreciate you sharing your work. Reading this post was really helpful to me, maybe now I can stop avoiding the Fraction work:)