Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fun With Fractions

Fractions! It's always that time of year that requires the most focus and stamina out of my students.  I really get to see their true colors and get to see just how far I can push them.  We started with a pretty basic understanding of what fractions really are.  We busted out the fraction squares and explored how they worked and what they showed us.  This really helped, not only for my lower kids, but for my higher kids too.  My high kids love to be able to show me they know the numbers, but I also like to see that they really understand what's happening, and what better way than through the use of models?

Allison was kind enough to let me borrow her notebook.  These fraction bars gave us a great visual to start our unit on fractions!

 We really utilized our interactive math notebooks during our fraction unit.  Because this is my first year with notebooks, I haven't done a stellar job implementing the traditional left page/right page setup of notebooks.  That's something I plan to tweak for next year.  You'll notice that in the pics :) Anyway, back to fractions.  We began by using our fraction squares to find equivalent fractions.  In fact, we used fraction squares for just about everything before moving into the numbers of the problems.  Once we had the models down, we talked about what was actually happening with the fractions.  The visuals really helped when making that transition!  Below are some of the pages we entered into our notebooks on simplifying fractions and finding equivalent fractions.  
Step 3 is KEY!  If they can't prove their work with a model, then they don't really 'get it'!  We also learned how to use prime factorization as a way to find the GCF.

I did ask this student to go back and change what she was dividing by to look like a fraction rather than a whole number. !

This is one of my favorite foldables.  It took us a while but it was worth it!
 The fraction squares were perfect for teaching how to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators.  It really was an 'ah-ha' moment for them when they saw that they could use other fraction pieces and replace them so that the result were squares of all the same size and color.  

Here is our foldable on adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators.  

Here are some of the other things we did with fractions. was a long unit!

This page was totally independent.  Up until this point, I had written up notes for them.  Starting now, they are coming up with their own notes and steps!  I think they did a pretty good job on their first try!

Here is a sample problem adapted from a former OAA test question.  I wanted to see if they knew to change the fractions to percents and the percents to fractions.  Most got it!

Fractions -->Decimals --> Percents foldable

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