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~*~ Learning Resources Fraction Equivalency Cubes ~*~
I spotted these on Amazon when I first went to look for normal cubes that they use in schools for counting. I was looking to buy some to aid my daughter's maths homework. Originally I was going to purchase a set of 100 to help with normal addition and subtraction but wondered if I had left it a bit late as she was already starting to add and subtract in her head. So when I spotted these I thought they would be more lasting in terms of the use my daughter could get from them.
I was lucky enough to pick them up for £6, they are currently £8.99 with free delivery when spending £10, but the price does fluctuate so it's always worth keeping an eye on them if you want to buy them yourself.
~*~ In the Pack ~*~
The fraction cubes come in a plastic case which is great it keeps them together and safe and you are less likely to lose any. There are a total of 51 cubes in the pack they are colour coded and all can interlock with each other.
Although advertised as fraction cubes each cube has fraction, decimal and percentages marked on them. The cubes are;
1 red whole ( 1, 100%, 1.0 )
2 pink halves ( 1/2, 50%, 0.50 )
3 orange thirds ( 1/3, 33.3%, 0.33 )
4 yellow fourths ( 1/4, 25%, 0.25 )
5 green fifths ( 1/5, 20%, 0.20 )
6 teal sixths ( 1/6, 16%, 0.166 )
8 blue eighths ( 1/8, 12.5%, 0.125 )
10 purple tenths (1/10, 10%, 0.10 )
12 black twelfths ( 1/12, 8.3%, 0.083 )
~*~ In Use ~*~
To start with there is no reason why they can't be used for simple addition and subtraction, when my daughter was learning she started off with all the numbers that add to 10 , before moving on to 20 , and so on. With 51 cubes altogether that's plenty to keep you going if you just use them as cubes and ignore any markings. In the past we have used Lalaloopsy dolls, cereal, smarties, and grapes for a visual aid for counting and the cubes can be used in just the same way.
Now my daughter is year 2 its time for fractions , this is what the cubes are made for and they don't disappoint. Each of the faction markings is clear and easy to read, and they interlock together just like a building block and are easy to use for even a younger child. There is a small activity guide with the cubes just telling you how they basically work but this is how we have been using them. I usually do this at the dinner table while I am cooking tea so even though i'm there in the room there is no pressure and I try to make it a fun activity to pass the 5-10 minutes till the food is ready. Also my daughter is a terribly fussy eater so we use fractions to help make her eat more , when she says she has had enough after 2 mouthfuls we tell her to cut things in half, quarters etc and try to get her to eat more.
To start we looked at 1/2 fractions , I would put 1 of the pink 1/2 cubes on the table then ask my daughter what else she thinks make a 1/2. When she has her selection of cubes she thinks makes a half I then get her to measure up, because each of the cubes has been split exactly right each one whole one measures the same , as do the 1/2 , so if she puts 2 1/4 fraction cubes together they will be the same height as the 1/2 cube so instantly she can see if its right. This is a great visual aid , not only can they see straight away if they are right, they can also see where they have gone wrong and it enables them to move forward in there thinking of how to get the right answer, if the cubes are too short they know they need a bigger fraction etc. We started with the basic 1/2 using the 1/2 cube and then 3/6 etc before moving on to quarters and then mixing them up to create some strange fractions to see if they could be done.
What I have also done is wrote some simple addition sums on paper 1/2 + 1/2 =, 1/4 + 2/4 = , 7/8 - 4/8 = so she can use the cubes to help her with the answers, and now we are progressing on to mixing up the fractions.
My daughter also plays with them just as bricks, if they happen to be in sight when she is playing with her toys they often get included and she likes to stand her Littlest Pet Shop Pets on the top of them which is great as she is learning while not knowing about it.
~*~ Thoughts ~*~
I bought these for my daughter who is 6 years old and in year 2 I think they are perfect for her and she will continue to get lots more use as she moves on to learn about decimals and percentages . Her teacher has already commented on how well she has grasped fractions and I really do put that down to the cubes as she is a child that benefits from a visual aid to reinforce her learning.
My son is in year 6 and while he hasn't used the cubes as he is lucky that he is gifted and finds maths particularly easy, he did say how good they would have been when he was learning about equivalents especially for the 6, 8 and 12th fractions that don't convert to a decimal so easily, and he also said that most of his class wouldn't be able to convert say 5/12 to a decimal in their heads, so I think there is a large age range and that the cubes will see you through Primary School and beyond depending on your grasp of the subject.
~*~ Conclusion ~*~
Perfect for primary school learning and possibly beyond . They make a great visual aid to learning. Strong and durable there is no reason why they shouldn't last for years I always make sure ours are put back in the case so we haven't lost any yet.
Very reasonably priced for an educational aid that works well.
5 out of 5