This story was produced in partnership with Lance® sandwich crackers, two awesomes with an incredible in between that has been made that way for 100 years.
Fractions are confusing — just ask any grade schooler. Working with partial numbers doesn’t usually click like counting, addition, or subtraction did for most young kids. It’s abstract math that kids need to visualize, get into with some hands-on learning, and, of course, to practice. In other words, it’s the perfect lessons to learn with parents in the afternoon.
Of course, the time between picking your kid up from school and right before dinner is precious. The handful of hours you have before you both hit the hay is a chunk of time where some of the best bonding moments happen. So we’re asking you to do math with your kids? Well, yes, but we have the trick to make it fun. Simply mix math with snack time — making partial numbers whole and wholesome.
For this Afternoon Lab fraction lesson, you need three packs of Lance® Grilled Cheese Sandwich Crackers, a pile of blank paper, something to write with, and an afternoon appetite. Here are three problems to feast on with your kids.
Problem 1: Three Groups.
- Open up a sleeve of Lance® Grilled Cheese Sandwich Crackers and divide them into three uneven groups (i.e. a group of 1, 2, and 3 crackers). Lay them each on their own piece of paper.
- On a piece of paper set next to each group, write the fraction for each. For the group with just 1, this would be 1/6, and so on.
- Add two groups together. Count the number of crackers and write the new fraction. For example, if you added the group of 1 crack and 2 crackers, you would have 3/6.
- Add all the crackers together to make a whole and write the number down (6/6). Now, feast! Every time you munch on a cracker, write down the fraction that is left (5/6 after you eat one, 4/6 after two, etc.)
Problem 2: Two Groups
- Open up a sleeve of Lance® Grilled Cheese Sandwich Crackers and divide them into two even groups of three.
- On a piece of paper underneath each group, write down the number of crackers (3/6).
- On a piece of paper above each group, write down the number of groups of crackers (1/2)
- Put them together and do the same for the whole group (writing down 6/6 below and 2/2 above). Explain how these are equal.
- Now, let them eat 1/2 of the entire group. Explain how that means they get to eat three crackers (if they don’t get it right away).
Problem 3: The Case of the Missing Crackers
- Open up a sleeve of Lance® Grilled Cheese Sandwich Crackers, lay them out on one piece of paper, then hide a random number of the crackers (for this problem, we’ll say you hid 2).
- Ask them to write down what fraction of crackers are showing (4/6 in this case).
- Now ask them to write down what fraction of crackers are missing (2/6).
- Ask them which group is bigger — and let them have at it.