Thursday, March 7, 2013

Quilt Square Fractions

This idea has been bumping around in my head for entirely too long. I'm thrilled to bring it to fruition. If you know a child that loves tangrams, this is the activity for them.

I made a paper quilt square and added some lines for guidance. Then I made several of the shapes that could fit inside, printed them on magnet paper, and cut them out.

I also made 0-9 magnets. Now it was time to "play."

I tacked the quilt square up on the refrigerator and told my son to fill in the quilt square to make a pattern. I reminded him that he could leave spaces empty so there would be white shapes in his quilt square.

Download this template and the shapes and numbers you need here.

When he was done, I asked him questions like, "how many of the triangles are pink?" and "how many of the shapes are squares?" To answer, he used the number magnets to make fractions.

I challenged him to reduce the fractions whenever possible (for example, 8/16 is the same as 1/2).

TIP: Make this game mobile (think road trip game). Buy a metal clipboard!

Personal note: An uber-sweet blog follower emailed to ask me about my health. I'm happy to report that I'm doing great. My breast cancer did not require chemo and I'm a few months out from radiation. So far, my body is adjusting well to the hormone-blocking meds to prevent recurrence.

Unfortunately, the PET CT scan which was done to check if the breast cancer had spread, also revealed a suspicious spot in my thyroid. While unrelated to the breast cancer, a biopsy confirmed papillary carcinoma in late January. I'm healed from the total thyroidectomy, and am on a low-iodine diet waiting for my body to be ready for radioactive iodine - hopefully in the next week or two. Afterwards, I'll go on synthetic thyroid hormone medication.

I'm fortunate that both cancers were stage 1. And more importantly, I'm blessed with an absolutely amazing support system and am glad that despite all the anxiety and doctor's appointments, I've been able to continue working with my sons (and blogging!!). Thanks for hanging in there with me through all this, followers!


  1. You are such an inspiration, even without all the added health ordeals you are enduring! My prayers are with you!

  2. You have a lot on your plate, but you still continue to give 100 percent...amazing! PRAYERS!

  3. What a great mathsgames.
    I am going to use them straight away with some of the kids in my class.

  4. Thank you so much for this - I think I'll have a go at a fabric version, using felt or felt like cleaning cloths. I can see how putting the bits out physically (or laying them on top of each other) could help with equivalent fractions. Will show this idea to people at my home ed maths cafe when we do fractions.