Reflection: Positive Reinforcement Fractions in the Real World - Section 1: Think About It


I work hard to build a culture in my classroom where students are willing to take risks.  Being wrong, in front of more than 20 of your peers, can be tough on a middle school student if a supportive culture is not in place.

I teach this lesson early in the school year.  I use a number of moves to reassure kids that making mistakes is a normal part of math class, and something that needs to happen so that we can all learn together.  Here are some of things I'll say often:

  • Before students start to work - "This problem might feel tricky at first.  It's my job to teach you this material today, but I want you to give it a shot and struggle a bit before we talk."
  • To encourage more hands - "I'm going to wait for some more hands.  Be willing to take a risk.  What's the worst that can happen?  You share an incorrect answer?  So what!  We will use it and learn from it"
  • To encourage more hands, I'll narrate as hands go up - "Hector is willing to take a risk and share his thinking.  Sophie has something to share about this problem"
  • When an incorrect answer is shared - "Alexis, I'm glad you shared that with us, thank you.  I saw a number of you get to this answer, and it shows a really common mistake when we work with this kind of problem.  Let's figure this out together..."


  It's Okay to Struggle
  Positive Reinforcement: It's Okay to Struggle
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Fractions in the Real World

Unit 2: Division with Fractions
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT represent and solve in-context, complex word problems using a visual model or computational procedures.

Big Idea: To solve multi-step problems, we need to work step-by-step, making sure to keep track of what we are solving for.

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3 teachers like this lesson
Math, Fractions, Numbers and Operations, problem solving, Operations
  65 minutes
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