Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The F word...

FRACTIONS...  Every year my students dread fractions.  When I tell them that is what we are working on they all gasp and moan.  Of course it is never as bad as they imagine it will be.

For multiplying  fractions this year I created a graphic organizer with my students that had all the steps they would need to solve a problem.  I use steps in my classroom whenever possible.  My lower students will jump at the chance to have steps and then they follow them religiously.  The steps to working out the problems make them feel successful.  They can participate in class conversations and always can relate to where we are in a problem.  If they are lost I can simply tell them what step we are at and they can pick it right up with us.  It helps them to not make silly mistakes as well.  Once they have the steps mastered the students are more confident to move on to more grade level appropriate and challenging problems with the steps as a guide.

Multiplying fractions isn't a sixth grade skill, but applying fractions to other problems, like word problems, is a sixth grade skill.  I often find that the basic skills need reinforced/taught  before we can get to the higher level thinking.  The the steps seem to be a very efficient way to get us successfully moving forward.

I created an anchor chart, to hang in my room, that matched my students graphic organizer.  Unfortunately, the laminator machine ate it!!! :(  I got a picture before I sent it through... so you can see what it did look like.

I don't really want to devote an entire new entry to dividing fractions, but this is what kids glued into their composition books for steps to divide fractions.  It is hard to see, but this graphic organizer focused a lot on the vocabulary.  We stuck with the traditional "Keep it, Change it, Flip it" but also added some technical terms to it.
This was our graphic organizer for
dividing fractions...

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