Adding fractions. The Macarena Method!
There are some constants in life. This is extremely reassuring. Like it or not, 100 years from now people will still be complaining about politicians and the government. One other constant will be that children’s uncles will still be embarrassing themselves at cheesy wedding discos, pulling out all their best dance moves to the wince of all their relatives. Whilst not a guaranteed constant, it seems very likely that “The Macarena” will still be a favourite of cheesy discos for many more years. If you have never witnessed the delights of this musical masterpiece and witnessed the synchronous beauty of the dance that goes with it you must check out this video.
It’s a fair bet that most pupils in you class will know the moves to this tune but have you ever thought about how you could use it to teach adding fractions?!!! The crossing of the hands and then the putting of them on your hips can be used as a great kinaesthetic mnemonic to remind pupils of what sub-multiplications they need to be doing to add two fractions. Check out the slideshow below that explains the method. The idea is that you get the pupils imagining the diagonal lines in the slideshow as their arms doing the Macarena!
I wouldn’t use this method with high-attaining pupils as it doesn’t promote that much understanding but for low-attainers who need to learn a method it is great!