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 an apple pie.

## HOW TO USE VISUAL FRACTIONS

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

A complete study guide is available that takes you through identifying, renaming, and operating on fractions using Visual Fractions modeling. Each of the topics include a pretest, instruction, on-line practice, worksheet practice, and a test.

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

If the fraction has a whole number part enter the whole number of a fraction by clicking the Whole field and then keying in the whole number. Then press the <Tab >key to move the 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> on your computer or click on the <OK> button to accept your answer. If your answer is correct, your Correct 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, a description of the operation, the number attempted examples, the number of correct examples, and the percent correct. Use the <Print> button to print the report card.

Use the <Email> button to send an email of your score. A pop-up window will ask for an email address and will give a review of the content of the email. Press the <Send> button to send the email and close the pop-up window. Press the <Cancel> button to close the pop-up window if you do not wish to send the email.

## VISUAL FRACTIONS WILL RUN ON MORE DEVICES.

Visual Fractions programs had been originally programmed to run on browsers using the FLASH plug-in. Because many browsers today do not have a FLASH plug-in, a decision was made to write the same programs with javascript. This will allow the programs to run on html5 or later browsers.

That is why the Site Map page shows both FLASH and HTML5 versions of the same programs.

Did you ever want to design your own number line and circle fraction examples? You can do this with this new on-line series of Fraction Designer programs.Enter in your own fractions and see number line or circle models of the operands and answers. For teachers, answers can be turned on or off if you wish to query the student. If you are learning on your own, follow the suggestions box on each of the Fraction Designer pages.

## 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 Grampy 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.

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.

Try the Egyptian Cookies for Grampy game. Find out how to use Ancient Egyptian unit fractions as you put together barley cookies for Grampy.

Different types of scales are used in the weighing games. Scales are great to show the relative values of fractions.

The first weighing game is a Dial Scale. The dial will move clockwise or counter-clockwise as objects jump on or off the scale. Help feed a bee by moving the dial.

The second weighing game is a Balance Scale where you can weigh three objects by dropping weights onto one side of the scale. You will be asked to write the total weight of the three objects in both decimal and fraction form..

There are two platform scale games. The first Platform Scale game you will weigh a chimp, rabbit, blinker, bird, and a beetle by sliding weights along a number line as these creatures jump onto the scale. On the Platform Scale Add and Subtract game you will find a total weight of five object as they jump onto and off the scale.

The Balance Scale and Platform Scale Games all use common fraction to decimal fraction conversions.

## A PLAN OF STUDY

Where do I start? Where do I go next? If you are learning on your own you might be looking for some guidance so go to the Progress Chart page for a list of Visual fractions activities.

To get a sample of the examples contained in each unit you can refer to the PLACEMENT EXAMPLES file. Check your answers with the PLACEMENT ANSWERS to see which of the below units to work on.

Each topic will have a pretest, instruction, on-line practice, worksheet practice, and a test.

A printable check list is available so you can keep track of your progress as you work through these topics. Keep this check list to show the work you have accomplished in this visual fractions modeling program.

## * * * 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

Fractions are better understood when seen.