by Ken Colclasure
Kenn is an ESL vocational instructor. He is also an avid gardener
and sports car enthusiast. He is married and has three step
Instructional Objective The objective of this game is to
reinforce the use and comparison of fractions.
Learners/Context The group is a VESL class studying beginning
automotive. Many of the students are unfamiliar with fractions or
have had little practice using them.
Fractions are frequently used in the automotive trade. A mechanic
must know which wrenches or bolts are larger than others and must be
able to state which fraction is larger when making a comparison.
Rationale I needed something portable, available, and fun for
students to use in practicing fractions in the classroom.
Rules The card game may be played like solitaire, by a single
player, or (preferably) as double solitaire, with two players. There
are at least four suits based on the denominator of the fractions.
The common fractions used in the industry from 1/2 to 1/64 can be
used to form suits. The purpose is to use all the available cards by
arranging them into suits in descending or ascending order. The suits
can be color coded. For every substitution in the sequence, extra
points will be given (for instance, 1/8 - 2/8 (1/4 ) - 3/8 - 4/8
(1/2) or 8/16 or 16/32).
If a player fails to use the lowest denominator, then a point will
be subtracted. There will be enough cards in each suit to cover up to
one inch. There will be extra cards that will be used to cover the
points of intersection between suits; for instance, 1/4 - 1/2 -3/4,
These extra cards will allow all suits to be completed in more
than one way.
Card Design The cards consist simply of the fractions
themselves drawn large enough to fill the face of the card.
Design Process I started out intending to use a WAR format but
felt that it would become boring too quickly.