Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2014
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Visual Fractions Decimals and Percentages

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Cool modeling tool helps kids grasp difficult concepts

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3-7 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Students can easily create models to represent various forms of a number.

Cons: There aren't any instructions, help prompts, or activity ideas.

Bottom Line: This easy-to-use, interactive fractions tool supports learning concepts that kids often struggle with.

Use Visual Fractions Decimals and Percentages in the classroom to support math lessons. Use a number form alone (just fractions, for example), or use multiple forms together for older kids learning about the relationship between these three forms. As an alternative to creating paper and pencil models, kids can use the app as they complete assignments that require representations of numbers using models.

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Visual Fractions Decimals and Percentages has two main options for creating models: grids and circles. Within each main option, kids choose from three categories: one unit, several units, and art grid or art circle. The one unit option is for creating models that represent values less than 1. The several units option is for creating models that represent values greater than one. And the art options can be used for creating savable models with multiple colors. Students can divide the grids into as many as 100 rows and 100 columns, resulting in a fraction with a denominator of 10,000. They can divide circles into as many as 360 sections, resulting in a fraction with a denominator of 360. One kids divide the unit as needed, they tap to shade sections, thus creating their models.

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Kids can learn about values and conversions among fractions, decimals, and percentages. These are often difficult concepts for kids to grasp, but they are a primary focus of many Common Core math standards. Creating models is an excellent way to help kids visualize parts of a whole, and they will likely be doing this often in the classroom and during formal assessments. By using this tool, kids can divide the models into as many as 10,000 units on grids and as many as 360 units on circles. Kids can also represent mixed numbers using multiple whole grids or circles. These many options allow for kids of varying abilities to use the tool. Before using the app, kids should have some basic knowledge of the concepts in order to fully benefit from using the models. For example, kids should know that a fraction consists of a numerator and a denominator and that a decimal includes digits to the right of a decimal point.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

This digital, interactive tool allows kids to create models in a whole new way, which can be more engaging than the traditional paper-and-pencil method.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Using grids and circles to visually represent fractions and percentages aligns well with classroom learning. Kids can create custom models to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Content is neatly organized, and the features are easy to use. Activity suggestions could extend the overall learning value

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