Teach Me About Fractions

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Objective

SWBAT define and explain fractions.

Big Idea

When we teach others we build a deeper understanding.

Intro

5 minutes

We have done a lot of work on understanding fractions and what it means to find parts of a whole. Today we are going to create presentations and posters explaining what we know about fractions and show examples of fractions (MP4).

I always understand things much better when I explain them or teach them to you, so today you will get a turn to teach all of us what you know!

I give students a lot of ownership over their learning from the beginning of the year. Expectations for teamwork and collaboration, showing what you know in multiple ways and solving problems using pictures, numbers and words are all parts of this activity. Even though this is something we do regularly, I still model my expectations for them before we begin by showing an example of what 'excellent work' looks like. This includes writing, pictures and how I show my thinking. 

This assignment could be changed and broken into smaller pieces if this isn't something you feel comfortable giving to your students all at once. You could discuss a piece of a lesson and then have students all create models to explain what it means to them, or have them create them in groups. The important thing is to remember to model your expectations, so that you aren't constantly redirecting during the activity. 

Activity

30 minutes

As a group you will need to design a rough draft for your poster. The only things I will require is that you have a definition and an example.

Other than that, it is up to your group how you want to present the information and teach the rest of us about fractions (MP2). We will present at the end of our time today, so make sure you stay focused and on task.

This activity is intentionally open ended. Students are familiar with assignments that require them to make their thinking visible and we model examples of this daily. I model a few examples for students about how to use my pictures, numbers and words in order to explain a concept so that they have a reminder of the expectation.

There are some students who struggle and require additional support for open ended assignments such as this. I have my students in mixed ability groups at their tables permanently, so that students who need more direction are grouped with students who are able to provide peer assistance. I want students to understand that I'm not the only one in the classroom who has answers, and for students to feel confident in their ability to help one another. 

There are various articles and texts available online if you're interested for 'Making your Thinking Visible in the Math Classroom' 

Presentations

15 minutes

I can’t wait to learn from all of you today! Remember to project your voice, and when you finish your presentation we will ask questions about your poster, so be prepared to defend your choices. 

Student expectations for presenting their work are established prior to beginning the assignment and I closely monitor groups as they are working to make sure they are on the right track. I also have them make a rough draft so that I can ensure any misconceptions are corrected before their presentation. 

We do a lot of presentations in our classroom in all subjects, so students are very accustomed to it. Audience members pay close attention during presentations and then they share comments and compliments at the end. When the presentation is finished we also do a celebration for the group. I do this instead of clapping because it gives students fun ways to celebrate each other.