Today was Day 3 of Week of Inspirational Math for all of the classes. The activity today was paper folding – fractional units. I gave each of the kids a 4″ x 4″ square of paper, and they had to 1) fold it into different fractional sizes of the original square, and 2) convince their partner (playing the skeptic role) that what they did was correct. When they had to fold the square into a square 1/2 the area of the original they had a hard time finding a second way initially…. but then found 3 different ways!
- Fold in the corners to the center, and each corner is 1/8 of the original square, so 4/8 = 1/2 folded in, and 1/2 of the original area left!
- Fold one side into the center, so 1/4 folded in, then fold the top down to the center, so another 1/4 folded in. That equals 2/4 folded in, so 1/2 or the original area left!
- Fold in all four sides, 1/8 of the way in. Some just eyeballed it to make it the same size as their partner’s square. When they had to explain it to me (as I was walking around) they had to show me, the skeptic, why it worked. So some folded it in 1/2, then in 1/2 again and in 1/2 again so there were 8 sections, and then saw that they needed to fold in one of the 8 on each side.
When the groups were finished I had kids come up and show how they folded their triangles and squares on the document camera – it was a fun activity, and we had lots of fraction adding and talking!