Sweet and Sour Stories: How to start multiplying fractions

Half my day drained its precious little self into the Facebook void. I blame “multiplying fractions.”

Of that part, ¼ of the social grazing was spent wading through the gunk of COVID and Election posts! Everybody put your water boots on! What part of my entire day was depleted trudging through pandemic and political positions?

I made that up.
But it proves a point.

But first, let’s take a sweeter route: Ice Cream!
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Specifically, Neapolitan Ice Cream.
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⅓ chocolate
⅓ vanilla
⅓ strawberry.

Woo Hoo! How many gallons of strawberry ice cream are in a half-gallon container?

Sweet and sour examples of multiplying fractions!

What are our children doing when they multiply fractions? Do they know what it means when we take ½ of ¼? Too quickly, our students are shuffled off to the abstract: “Just multiply across.” Forced to focus on getting the right answer fast! Our youth fall through the cracks and swerve off the tracks. Intervention is touching, seeing, experiencing, and getting to the WHY of math.

Our children blossom through the multisensory way! See how it worked for Margo.

Enter: Amy, VP of 7-12th grades! This math specialist demonstrates why and how to multiply proper fractions. The clip is less than 8 minutes. It is worth our kid’s time, the perfect launching pad into comprehension!

Now, for a moment, indulge us as the pocket protectors, and tapped glasses combine to form: “Nerd out math time!” (echos)

What is 5 x 5?
25. The product is LARGER than the factors 5 and 5.

What is interesting about multiplying by fractions, is we take “Part of a Part.” For example, 1/10 of my income is “play money,” of that play money, half is spent on Amazon.com. Hypothetically speaking. No judgment.

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must…buy…stuff!

In my Amazon example, my product is 1/20. It is actually smaller than my two factors.
There it is. Part of a part. A fraction of a fraction!

Watch this video with your student! When we multiply fractions, we get answers that are smaller than the quantity we started with! There is more where this came from! Try out a sample of our Stress-Free Fractions course for Free! <insert link to class>

The emotionally sound, multisensory approach we take as a company is modeled through Amy’s use of isolated number facts, explicit math-smart language, and fraction tile manipulatives. All the emotionally-sound math-lovers say, “Hoorah!” Listen for the precise wording, like “Part of a part,” and the question, “What size piece can split this fourth in half?”

Yes, there are pandemics and politics. But we can change the world within 3-feet of us. And in less than 20 minutes. This is no fiction.

Step one: Download this Bonus Printable.
Step two: Watch the video with your student as they fill out the bonus page
Step three: Maybe celebrate with some Neapolitan ice-cream?

Bonus Step: Try out this video on dividing whole numbers by fractions!

Step 1: Download the Printable

Step 2: Watch the Video

MFM Authors

Matthew Lyda

Matthew Lyda

Multisensory Math Specialist

Matthew is a Blue Belt in Shotokan Karate, a happy husband, wilderness lover, drummer, and a voracious reader! He works with students one:one as well as in group classes. 

Amy Anderson

Amy Anderson

Multisensory Math Specialist; VP of Grades 7-12

my is a certified teacher with a Masters in Educatioon and a Bachelor of Arts.  She enjoys photographing the Pacific Northwest landscapes, walking her dog, rock climbing and searching for humpback whales. She works with students one:one as well in group classes.