FRACTIONITIS frak'sheni'tis An increase in anxiety caused by the appearance of a numeral in fraction form.

Symptoms: A blank stare, avoidance of math courses and math teachers. Cure: Associate fractions with a pleasant object, such as 1/4 of a pizza.

Visual Fractions requires Flash Player 9 or higher. See the Adobe Flash Player Download page to get the latest Flash Player

## HOW TO USE VISUAL FRACTIONS

The purpose of Visual Fractions is to picture fractions and the operations on them.

Students: You should start with the programs in the Identify category on the the Visual Fractions Home Page. You should do both the number line and circle versions of the programs if the circle version is available. Each program will tell you the number of examples you attempted and the number of examples you did correctly. You should do at least 10 examples correctly out of 10 examples before you go on to the next program. After you have practiced the programs in the Identify category continue to the Rename, Compare, Add, Subtract, Multiply, and Divide categories. You may go to the Investigate pages for step-by-step instructions on each topic.

Teachers: You might want your students to write each example and the work for each example to be passed in. Once a student is finished with one of the programs he/she can press the <Report> button. This button will open a new page that will allow the student to enter his/her name. Press the <Submit> to go to a printable report card.

Each of the instructional programs have dialog fields as illustrated below:

Enter the numerator of a fraction by clicking the Whole field and then keying in the whole number. Then press the <Tab >key to cursor to the numerator field and then key in the numerator. Then press the <Tab> key to move the cursor to the denominator field and then key in the denominator. Then press the<Tab> key to move the cursor to the <OK> button. You may press the Space Bar or click on the <OK> button to accept your answer. If your answer is correct, your score will increase by one point and you may <Tab> to the <New Example> button to go to the next example.

If your answer is not correct you will be told if your answer is too large or too small. You may then enter another number.

Pressing the <Explain> button is like pressing the <OK> button except that the answer will appear in the number fields and an explanation will appear at the bottom of the application. Your example number and score will not increase by pressing the <Explain> button, but you may press the <New Example> button to go to the next example.

The <Start> button will bring the Correct and Attempts scores to 0 and will give you a new example.

Press the <Report> button to make a report card. This button will open a dialog that asks you to submit your first and last name. A printable report card will then appear that gives your name, the operation you worked on, the number attempted examples, correct examples, and the percent correct. Use print to print the report card.

Did you ever want to design your own number line and circle fraction examples? You can with this new on-line series of Fraction Maker programs. Put in your own examples and see number line or circle models of the operands and answers. Answers can be turned on or off if you wish to query the student.

## GAMES

All games in the VISUALFRACTIONS series give more practice with fractions and help in understanding them.

The Cookies for Grampy program is by far the most popular program on the Visual Fractions web site. The Find Grammy and Grammy games do well, also.

The new Dial Scale game uses an analog dial to weigh several characters. Feed nectar to a bee as it travels from 0 to 3.

See how quickly you can weigh a chimp, rabbit, bird, Blinker, beetle, and a bee. With this revised Platform Scale game you can measure each to the nearest hundredths of a unit.

Weigh several characters on a decimal scale with the new Slide Scale game. You find the weight to thousandths of a unit by sliding a pointer along graduated bars.

In-Between is a new strategy game where you guess the distance between two points to get closer to a character position.

The newest is the Egyptian Barley Cakes game. Find out how to use Ancient Egyptian unit fractions as you slice and pass out pieces of barley cake.

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## * * * THE AUTHOR: RICHARD E. RAND * * *

### Teaching Experience

Middle School Mathematics teacher for 28 years. Adjunct instructor in mathematics at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in Presque Isle, Maine for 16 years. Now retired.

### Education

BS Education Aroostook State Teachers College (now the University of Maine at Presque Isle - 1964.
MS Mathematics Education from the University of Maine at Orono, Maine - 1971.

### Philosophy

Rational Numbers are better understood when seen.

Planned are more educational tools for understanding the rational number system. Analog common fraction and decimal scales will demonstrate place value and addition and subtraction with decimals.