Changing Improper Fractions into Mixed Numerals: a Book by Lisa C. Jackson

Changing Improper Fractions into Mixed Numerals
I wrote this book because I suspect my child has dyscalculia. I am trying to prepare my child-student for the TABE and GED tests. I am hoping this will help people with dyscalculia and those who teach them. I think this book will be helpful to 5th grade school teachers, homeschool moms, middle school and junior high and high school teachers, adult education teachers and those learning math for the GED test.

This is how this book came to be:

  • My dad always taught us math around the dinner table and everywhere we went. My siblings and I helped him check math papers quite often. I was always reading and hearing maht vocabulary like “whole numbers,” “improper fractions,” and “numerator.” My dad loved teaching math to 5th graders. This is considered 5th grade math in most curricula.
  • When I had a hard time understanding math, I had my school teacher, my dad and my math-loving brother who could explain everything to me. I did not need visual explanations of things because I had so much help.
  • However, I am an artist and visuals like these with very concise explanation of every little detail would have been nice.
  • When I was in elementary school, I visualized how the design of the math textbook could improve. I dreamed of becoming a textbook math designer one day just to make the math book easier for the child to understand by adding better visuals.
  • I became a homeschool mom. I have taught homeschool 5 years and have not yet found all the answers for how to teach math concepts to every child. 
  • For 5 years, I have been eluded as to how to explain certain things which are very easy for me to understand, to children to whom these math concepts do not come so readily.
  • I became determined to figure out how to help children (and all people) understand math concepts better.
  • I love the Montessori method. I want to meet Maria Montessori when I get to heaven. I also love Constance Kamii and her methods for teaching math.
  • I am an eclectic-style homeschool mom. That means I like teaching using multiple methods. 
  • I used my “Your Teacher” app yesterday and wrote down all of the lesson names in all of the chapters in each grade level and math level, with checkboxes nest to each lesson. I made a plan to have my kids watch 5 lessons per day from this app. I knew this would help. It did, because helped me to see which pieces of the puzzle my children were missing for the complete understanding of these math concepts regarding fractions.
  • I googled this morning and found information about dyscalculia from this website which was very helpful.
  • I watched this dyscalculia simulation, which is to help the rest of us understand the struggles of people who have this learning disability.
  • I found a list of curricula for people with dyscalculia. I found Math U See. It is too expensive for me.
  • I then remembered that Maria Montessori made everything multisensory. I searched up and found this video about teaching children about changing improper fractions into mixed numerals using the Montessori method.
  • As you can see in the book below, much of this book is from the video.
  • Some of the book below comes from questions my child-student had this morning after watching the video. 
  • I had some blank board books. What a nice thing to have. I thought, ‘I can plan a book sng then make it.’ I made 3 plans. 
  • I made the book, which is a combination of the 3 plans (a 4th plan, which is silly but true).
  • Since I did graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art, I illustrated the book myself.
  • Now I need a publisher. More people need this book. I do not want to make lots of handmade copies!

3-D View of Fractions 5th Grade math concept book for people with dyscalculia
Cover Page: Change Improper Fractions to Mixed Numerals
1 Pizza Whole Number, 2/5 a pizza partial number
Improper Fraction
improper fraction, mixed numeral
7 divided by 5 or 7/5
fraction numerator denominator quotient mixed numeral




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Springtime And Being Very Busy!

I have been so busy gardening, organizing, de-junking and cleaning the house, that I have not made a blog post in a while. This past weekend, my husband and son finished building our Shelf Reliance shelves and we loaded them up with food storage cans. I am excited about that. Lately, we have been working  lot on that. 

On Saturday, before LDS General Conference, I worked hard putting the math in its own binder. It is a red binder, so it stands out from all the white ones I have for other reasons. I went through the math checklists and evaluated, knowing full well what the kids know and don’t, where each one is in math. Then I made lesson plans. I made plans for 6 homeschool days. 

“Pirate,” by my son:

  

Right now, at 7:30 a.m., my daughter is teaching my younger boys. She uses my math checklist for the math. I love the help. One son is telling her emphatically, “I already know my numbers!” He had been stubborn, but he just now passed off an item on the math checklist without any help at all. This is big for him! I am happy. My older daughter and my older son are now enthusiastically and with dancing, teaching them. My daughter just asked me, “Mom, what does fluently mean?” We have decided the one is fluent at a certain concept. Well, it will not be long before he can do even more difficult things fluently. I am so excited.

This is something most people who homeschool understand and most who don’t, don’t: The older kids teach their siblings happily. It’s awesome! It frees me up to focus on being the leader. I am not the leader and the one who does it all. I am just the leader. I give direction and my kids help it happen. They want homeschool to work. They want mom to be happy. They enjoy teaching because it is fun. 

When it comes to teaching siblings to ride bikes, play baseball, work in the garden, cook, clean, make lunch, etcetera, they are all great! I love this about homeschooling. Sometimes, younger ones even help older ones, because maybe that is their favorite subject, or one of their favorites, so they are beyond their years in ability because they have learned so much in a certain area. For example, my son loves science. He teaches his siblings all sorts of things because he “gets it.” I am usually surprised at what he knows. It’s amazing. He has the ability to explain science concepts by jumping up and down and acting them out. It’s fun to watch him. 

My daughter is still in her pajamas but is now looking over the Montessori list of skills and asking me whether this one has learned that yet. I am so grateful for her help in keeping on top of that. I used to have to do it all myself, which after a while, meant I never got to it. It is nice to have someone who gets to it on my behalf. She will be an awesome mom someday. She will be an awesome homeschool mom someday! Whe wants to be an early childhood educator, so all of this fascinates her. It is one of the things she lives for!

My son is reading “Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. He told me that he has 2 bookmarks. He does not like going for so long with these characters before getting back to what those ones are doing. He would rather just go one chapter with these, one chapter with those, instead of 3 chapters, then 3 chapters. Fine with me! He invents stories, too, so I would not be surprised if we get an author here! He is also still in pajamas. Oh, well. I am hoping he gets dressed by 9 a.m.!

Rip up the Math Workbooks. Rip them up!

My mom taught me to rip up math workbooks (rip sheets out) when I went to help her prepare for a new school year for her elementary class one time. I have done so with many a workbook. I have manilla folders with topics, not grade levels, on them. “Simple division; Division with remainders; fractions with common denominators; least common multiples; geometry; algebra for elementary; multiplication basics; multiplying 3 by 3 digits,” etc. That way, my kids can say, “I want to learn more fractions,” and I don’t have to say, “Sorry, that is on page 120. You are on page 46. Keep going. You’ll get there!” I can just say, “Oh. O.K.” and go get some sheets about fractions. Kids don’t have to do stuff in some authority-presented order. Your child may just be sick of review and drilling. Your child may have been working on that particular topic in math, over and over again, because you and the teacher, want him or her, to “get it.” Give your child a break from the topic. If it is multiplication practice/drilling your child is sick of, try geometry or probability, or make some graphs from interviews he does personally. It’s fun to break it up. Just a short while ago, my son was sick of multiplication. He said he wanted fractions and geometry. So be it! We have been doing just that. This helps him continue to progress, and get a break (from what he was sick of) at the same time. Yesterday, he was on BigBrainz again, doing multiplication. He just needed a break!