I am so thankful to colleagues who knew more than I did back in the day, and were generous enough to let me see “what they were doing for fractions”. We all need someone like that to lead the way and show us new things. That’s how I feel. It’s a team effort…
In the spirit of paying it forward, here are some of the things I did for fractions that I think were effective, engaging, and important to do.
1. Anchor Chart
I always start my lessons with an Anchor Chart, but my charts are never 100% ready when I show them to the kids for the first time.
Obviously, I plan ahead so I know what I want it to look like and what information it needs, but I make a point to draw and write IN FRONT of the kids.
This chart had the title, the headings, and the drawings without the lines. I drew the lines as I explained, and wrote the vocabulary during the lesson.
I do that because when students participate in creating the charts, they understand the content that much better. I also like showing them how I draw and write.
I take my time, and say things like “Let me make sure to leave a space between my words.” or “If I go slow when I draw this line its going to look much better.”
I just think it’s important to let them see how the things we tell them over and over apply to us in “real life”.
2. Practice Worksheets – Watch the Videos!
Yup. I use them.
But I use them skillfully.
I make sure each student is working on their level, that they’re engaged, and that the work is relevant to what my curriculum is. I love the way these turned out.
I’m sure you have sheets that you use that work well for you. If you’d like to see the ones I use – and have for sale on my TpT store, just play the videos.
Not for you? Skip right ahead to the Pizza Activity!
3. Pizza Activity (GET YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD BELOW!)
You have probably seen something like this before. I’ve seen teachers use cookie fractions as well. Either activity works the same here.
a. I like to read a book that links to the topic we’re learning. Sometimes the books go into things that my students aren’t able to understand yet. If that ever happens to you, it’s totally okay to pick and choose which pages you’ll read, and skip the ones that aren’t relevant to your lesson.
b. In the interest of time, I traced the large pizza circles on construction paper for the kids to cut, but I cut the little cheese strips and pepperoni circles myself. Those are the kinds of mindless things that I can do at home watching TV…
Some teachers cut mushrooms, olives, and green peppers.
Something to Think About
My rule is that the effort I put into a lesson needs to translate into learning. So for me, it’s enough to have 2 toppings. More than that is cute and adorable and FINE to do. Just think if it adds to the activity enough to justify the time it will take away from other things you could be doing.
Like resting. Or cooking something healthy. Or going for a walk.
Okay. Back to steps…
c. First I give them a pizza and ask them to fold in it half. They make each half with a different flavor.
d. Then, I give them another pizza and have them fold it into fourths and do the same.
The ultimate goal is to have them use mathematical thinking and vocabulary to describe their pizza!
Once the pizzas were made, we glued them to a large paper and wrote about them.
Back then, I typed the papers quickly and printed a bunch.
But for you, I made some cute templates that you can download below. I made them for halves, thirds, and fourths.
OH! As the kids were working, I walked around and had each kid tell me what they were making and what they were going to write on their pizza papers.
→I called the kids who weren’t sure to my table and helped them with the writing. It’s also a good strategy to have your advanced students become “teacher helpers” once they are done.
They can sit in a pre-determined spot and kids who need help can go to them while you work with your own little group.
I hope you give these ideas a try! As always I’m available at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions! And if you have other ideas that could help a fellow teacher, drop them in the comments bellow!
Want some ideas to teach MONEY? Check out this post!
If you want to keep this information fresh all year you can assign homework that constantly reviews learned skills. This is the homework I have in case you are interested. It’s 100% Common Core aligned! There is a FREE SAMPLE available for each packet when you check the resource pages.
|1st Grade Math Homework|
|2nd Grade Math Homework|
|3rd Grade Math Homework|