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Posts Tagged as "fractions"

Free, virtual math Unicorn party: FULL MOON FRACTIONS, Wed 5/26 @ 4-5 pm eastern

Sunday, May 16th, 2021

Is your child struggling with fractions?

Do you feel like somehow, your child just lost a year and a half of math education due to COVID, even though they showed up for everything?

Are you tired of the gnawing feeling that your child is getting further and further behind, even if their classroom teacher is saying everything is “fine”?

This is what parents are telling me they’re going through right now.  

So I want to do something about it.  I want to help you!

And I want to do it — MATH UNICORN STYLE. 

So mark your calendar and get ready to FROLIC with FRACTIONS under the illumination of the FULL MOON!

WHAT: Full Moon Fractions

WHEN: Wed, May 26th

@4-5 pm Eastern

WHO: 2nd-4th graders and their parents

WHERE: On zoom!


During our fraction party, you will:

—Discover secret tools to crack the mysteries of fractions—so they are CLEAR and MEANINGFUL.

—Hone your math magic with us, 

practicing fraction problems of your choice that you submit in advance.

Learn from each other, as students take turns 

getting one-on-one magical math guidance from me in front of the group.

And we will do it all in a unique, joyful, MAGICAL environment—

sprinkled with stories, singing, gleeful movement, and meaningful learning.

You’ll be on your way to confidently saying, “Fractions?  Let’s get crackin’!” as you toss your unicorn mane with confidence and flair!

Dress up in your best unicorn attire, bring a tasty snack, and sharpen your sparkliest pencil!  

Join us from WHEREVER you are — it’s on zoom!

Sending you love,


the magical math unicorn

PS. Know someone you think might want to join our party? Invite them to join us!

Posts Tagged as "fractions"

Confused about fractions? Visualize brownies, not pizzas

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Pizzas. They’re the best way to represent fractions, right? Everyone has seen a pizza. Everyone knows you can slice a pizza different ways. When you need to visually represent fractions, pizzas are the go-to metaphor, right?

Well, that’s what I thought until I tried using pizzas to teach equivalent fractions. Sure, it’s easy to use a pizza to represent quarters, sixths, eighths. Thirds aren’t even too bad.

But just try dividing a circle into five equal pieces. Or seven. Or ten. Even though I’m a grown-up and a professional math educator, it’s really hard for me to consistently do this.

And as for showing visually how two fifths equals four tenths? Unless I do an impossibly immaculate job of dividing those pizzas into pieces, forget about it.

Are they really the same?

Fortunately, I’ve found a much better way to represent fractions visually: the Math-U-See fraction overlays. If we’re going to use a food metaphor, they’re flat and square, like brownies from a square pan.

And like brownies, they are much easier to slice evenly than pizzas. In fact, because they’re reusable transparent overlays, you don’t even have to draw (or slice) anything. You just arrange them on top of each other.

Check it:


Awwww, yeah! Those fractions are DEFINITELY equivalent!

You can use the overlays to represent basic fractions with divisors from two through seven, or combine multiple overlays to build other denominators.

Not only do they make it really easy to see how equivalent fractions work, but using them is way easier than drawing pizzas and hoping the slices come out even.

The fraction overlays make the concepts extremely clear, and because they’re tactile, visual, and kinesthetic, they make fractions feel like a game instead of work. Whenever I’ve used them with my students, either in person or during online tutoring sessions with a webcam, they’ve react the same way: “This is fun!”

Now that’s how I want my students to feel about fractions!

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