Students should start using the game after they have been introduced to fractions. You can apply it before then but the game may be too challenging.
At its heart, Whole is a game so it works well in an ill-structured setting. The game has minimal directions and no tutorial so that players study the way it works in action. People who have played mobile games are familiar with this process and it works well for games that are simple in action.
You may want to direct students through some drills, Fractions in the Visual is good little game to help them see how the mechanics of the numbers when adding fractions. The key to making Whole useful is to encourage students to think about the numbers as they are playing. Provide them with questions that to answer as they play.
“What happens when you combine numbers with the same denominator?”
“How do the parts add up to be a whole?”
“What happens when the denominator is different?”
“How does a bigger denominator change the number? How does a bigger numerator change it? Why does 1/8th bar look smaller than a 1/2?” *You can use this line of questioning to a fundamental understanding of the number line and infinity. “How small can we make the fraction is we can make the denominator as big as we can imagine?” A middle school understanding of this concept will be a huge benefit to their understanding of Calculus.
This activity is an excellent time to incorporate a variety of thinking routines.
Think Pair Share is an easy activity to build in. Students play and work with some of the guiding questions, discuss it with a partner, and share it with the class. You can use post its, the white board, or general discussion for the sharing.
What have you tried?
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