Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Equivalent Fractions

Although we had a snow day and TWO delays last week-which led me to only teaching math TWICE, we did get in some fun with equivalent fractions. (And we're getting awfully close to a repeat this week...)
I started off by dividing the kids into 5 groups and handing them a stack of fraction cards. I told them to order the fractions from greatest to least and just had them go at it. (For more info, see The Teacher Studio-this came from her fraction pack).

I didn't give them any more direction than that, I wanted to see what they would do.

Now, my kids do know about equivalent fractions, we've talked about it as part of our daily calendar, so they knew they were likely to come across a few.

It was so interesting to watch their process and hear their discussions! I just wandered around, taking pictures and listening in :)
This group was trying to organize by sorting out the pieces into groups of fractions...

This group worked together wonderfully! They started by pulling out the halves, wholes and then tried to find more equivalent fractions by drawing models. They didn't finish, but their math talk and collaboration was amazing!

This group just worked one card at a time from the stack, reorganizing as needed.
OK-some long and boring background before the fun stuff.

My math block was also split this day-the first Friday of the month we have a school wide assemblies, so our specials are earlier and shorter. We did a little bit of writing in the first 10 minutes, and then did the centers after special-for an hour. Some of the kids finished everything and some could have used more time.

I will say that I had intended this to be a two day activity with more centers, but with all our snow days and delays (and the need to get into the math book-MiF starts them off with adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators!), I cut it down to one.
Our math notebooks were going to be one center, and we set it up the day before. We also did a little bit of math writing in the margins-I showed them the equation for creating equivalent fractions. The math notebooks came from Mrs. C's Classroom

Now onto fun stuff!

The next day, we did a round of centers that all had to do with equivalent fractions.

I set up three centers. Math Notebooks (we had glued in the entries the day before so they could work in them), Fraction Bars, and Pattern Blocks.

I set up the directions on the SMART Board.
Our first center was Math Notebooks.

I had pulled three entries for the kids to work on .
Modeling with bars

Modeling with circles

This one was fun-they had to find the equivalent fractions and slip them in the pockets.
Most of the kids were able to do this fairly self-sufficiently. The one they needed help on was the sorting one. We did go over the answers at the end :)

I also had the kids working with pattern blocks to find equivalents.

And using some fraction bars as well-it was fun seeing how they organized this!
Some of them just went for it, and some of them took the time to organize them into the wholes and work from there.

I had them record all answers in their math books-which I checked during work time, and which will also be a notebook grade at the end of the trimester.

They did very nicely! Like always, some needed more direction than others, some took off with it and challenged themselves, and some just did the minimum.

The very best part (to me), is that while they were 'playing' with the materials, they were creating equivalent fractions and talking about it. Hopefully, this will help them remember better!

After all, when we finally get into the math book, we'll be adding and subtraction with unlike denominators-they'll need their equivalent fractions then! (Really, Math in Focus? Really? You couldn't just stick to the CC?)

Smiles and Sunshine,

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