Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Mixed Number Mystery - Section 2: Concept Development


This is an important lesson, but one that takes patience on my part.  My students have had many opportunities to use inquiry and tackle problems in math class, but it is still difficult at times to see them struggle.  One advantage at this point in the year, I know which students are going to struggle with "not being told" what to do.  For these students, I make sure I provide scaffolds like listing multiple strategies. For example, I might say something like, "In that past, I know some fourth grade students who tried ____________."  

Most of students seemed reluctant to use a model to help them solve this problem and I became keenly aware that this is something I need to remind them of.  In a future lesson I have designed, students will need to use a model in order to teach someone else a fraction concept.  

Last, the use of partners in this lesson is also vitally important.  I have not previously taught my students any strategies for how to add mixed numbers.  This lesson is truly a guided inquiry lesson in which students explore and discover how to add mixed numbers on their own. By doing so, they are able to "own" the information.  Adding mixed numbers then doesn't become just another set of procedures to follow, but rather a skill that makes sense from students discovering their own strategies. 

Click the link to see a students' work sample and hear my reflection. adding mixed numbers.mp4

  Student Led Inquiry: Inquiry takes patience..... even in the third quarter
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Mixed Number Mystery

Unit 5: Operations with Fractions
Lesson 6 of 14

Objective: SWBAT add mixed numbers with like denominators.

Big Idea: Fractions operations

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