Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Day 58: Fraction Bars

I've been tired for a week now.  My patience with my students has been wearing thin when they don't do the simple tasks that I ask of them.  I'm not pleased with how short I'm getting with them.  I need do something to recenter myself.

I am, however, quite pleased with the lesson we are doing in Math 7 dealing with division of fractions.

For the last month or so, I've been working on using very specific language when it comes to these operations and, hopefully, it will start paying off in this lesson.

 Screenshot from my Promethean Board. I made this thing!
The fraction bars can be dragged down to the paper to look at different types of division.  So here's how it works:

"What is 2 divided by 1/2?"

We put two "whole" bars at the top and a "1/2" bar on the bottom.

"How many groups of 1/2 can we get out of 2 wholes?"

The students then convert the bars into other bars of equivalent value (2 wholes become four 1/2 bars) so we can makes groups of whatever value we have at the bottom.

"There are four 1/2 bars that can fit into 2 whole bars. so 2 divided by 1/2 is four.  We can find 4 groups of 1/2 in 2 wholes."

We spent a bit more time that I would have liked in just cutting the pieces out so each pair of students could have a set.  I may get them printed on colored card stock.  I also need to find a way to get them to actually do what I ask instead of rolling on the floor because they dropped a tiny 1/12 bar.

We will be working more on problems with whole number answer for a few days before moving to ones with fraction answers.  I want them to be as comfortable with the system as possible before tossing them into the deep end.