**Fractions &
Decimals:**

**Fraction Ball**

**Today's
Snack:** Make
"Half-Cup Granola." It got its name because you mix ½ cup of all but one of the
ingredients. That one ingredient is uncooked oats - not "instant" oats, but the
dry flakes you buy in the cardboard canister.

**First,
preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a big bowl, mix:**

2½ C. uncooked oats (not instant)

½ C. coconut

½ C. almonds or seeds (not for kids under age 3 or
anybody allergic)

½ C. bran or Grape-Nuts cereal

**Now melt together in a microwave or stovetop:**

½ C. butter or margarine

½ C. honey

**Stir
into dry ingredients. Spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 20
minutes or until golden brown. Stir often. Stir in:**

½ C. raisins or chopped dates

**Cool on cookie sheet.**

When cool, pour the amount you want to eat right
away into a zip-lock bag to keep from spilling very much. And eat! Store the
rest in an airtight jar or container.

Makes 12 servings of "Half-Cup Granola" which are,
not surprisingly, about ½ cup each!

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**Supplies:**

**Basketball hoop(s) and basketball(s)**

**OR any kind of ball and a "goal" you
try to hit with the ball**

**Sidewalk chalk if you're on pavement**

**Carpenter's tape and a marker if
you're using the hoops in a gym**

**Index cards and markers with weights
such as rocks if you're on grass**

**Laundry basket, child's wading pool
or sturdy chair for use as a goal if you're playing outside on grass**

**Notebook or paper and pencil for
keeping score**

Take a look at the list of ingredients for today's
snack. How many cups altogether did you mix? 5½, right? There were a lot of ½'s
in that recipe. In fact, there are a lot of ½'s in the world. It's probably the
most common fraction.

A "fraction" is a number, usually very small, and
often under "1." It is expressed as a ratio, with the number of parts up top
and the size of the quantity underneath.

Small children often have trouble understanding that
even though a "2" is smaller than a "4," the fraction ½ is a bigger quantity
than the fraction ¼ -- in fact, twice as big!

But the more you work with fractions, the easier it
becomes to understand that they are very helpful in everything from cooking to
making machines work.

For this game, let's work with fractions of:

¼

½

¾

⅓

⅔

⅛

⅜

⅝

⅞

1/1

If you are playing outside on pavement, take the
sidewalk chalk and write those fractions all over the basketball court so that
they are spread out well, but still close enough to the basket to make a shot
from each of those points "make-able."

If you're working in a big group of kids, you can
set this game up for as many nets as you have, divide into groups of four and
play. If there are more kids than that, the others can play "Follow the Leader
Dribbling" or divide into pairs and see how many bounce passes they can make.
Then they can switch places with the "Fraction Ball" group when they complete
the game.

After you've marked the fractions on the pavement,
take the basketball and stand on any of the fractions. Read it out loud for the
person keeping score for you, if there is another person available. That person
should write down what fraction you're standing on, to keep track. You can go
in any order you'd like.

**Now
call out what fraction, when added to the one you're standing on, adds up to
"1."** If
you have to look around at the other fractions chalked on the court to find the
one that makes a match, that's fine.

For example, if you're standing on the ¼, you would call out ¾, because ¼ + ¾ = 4/4 = 1.

The scorekeeper would give you 1 point for getting
that right. Then, shoot from that spot. If you make the basket, you get another
point.

Now go around to all the other fractions on the
court, and repeat the process. Call out what fraction, when added to the one
you're standing on, adds up to 1. Then try to sink the basket.

Watch out when you come to the fraction 1/1. What do
you have to add to it to get 1? (the answer is nothing, and if you say "zero"
or "nothing," you get a point!)

If you're not outside on pavement, then mark the
fractions on pieces of carpenter's tape on the gym floor, if you're using the
basketball nets in the gym. If you're outside on grass, write the fractions on
pieces of paper and weigh them down with books or rocks; score points by
hitting a goal such as a laundry basket, child's wading pool or sturdy chair
with any kind of ball, not necessarily making the ball land inside the goal.

Then go ahead and stand at each fraction, call out
the fraction which, when added to it, makes 1, and shoot from that spot.

The game is over when you've made the rounds of all
the fractions. How many points did you score? A perfect score is 20!

This game is fun by yourself. But it's only a
FRACTION as much fun as when you can play it with others!