Fraction Talks That Strike a Chord with Students. Music and art offer great opportunities to connect fractions to the real world. The videos listed below support the hands-on workshop led by Arjan Khalsa.
Click any of the links below to open and play the videos that support each of the lessons from the workshop.
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Do you ever blow into water bottles to make a flute-like sound? If so, you are a natural mathematician! Learn the relationship between the amount of water in the bottle, and the pitch it makes. A fine activity for 3-5th grade.
Part I: Guitars and violins are commonly found in schools. Measure the strings, listen to the pitches, and learn a great deal about the relationship between music and fractions.
Part II: Dive deeper into the mathematics of guitars and violins.
A glockenspiel is a common xylophone. You probably have one somewhere on your campus. Your students can play the instrument easily, and measure the lengths of the leys to learn about the remarkable relationships between fractions and the notes they are playing.
Use the children’s song This Old Man to verbalize whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes.
Use the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame to clap and sing triplets, dividing time into three equal parts.
Build a musical, stringed instrument. This is a project for a middle school with a good wood shop.
This is a science faire or classroom project. Students start with an inexpensive xylophone which they take apart. They measure the metal keys, learn about fractional relationships, and then build their own xylophone from scratch. This requires a few trips to the hardware store.
The didgeridoo is an instrument from Australia that makes a funny, buzzing sound. Your students can easily build one out of PVC pipe. In fact, any plastic pipe you buy at the hardware store is an instant didgeridoo. Learn how to teach fractions with this crazy instrument.
Conceptua Math includes a software tool that gives students access to online Pattern Blocks. This video shows how to use these Pattern Blocks to learn about fractions, make great art, and create tessellations.
Use PowerPoint to create art that is inspired by mathematics and produces a hypnotic effect.