Warm up with Fraction Aps!
The free app VersaMate is just about the coolest apps I have seen for understanding fractions since Candy Factory. My students love this! They worked on this ap for 10 minutes and didn't want to put it down. They can choose what fractional exercise they want and play against the computer. This ap also comes in a purchased version and has more to offer.
We stopped and shared why we liked this ap. Some students asked if they could play Candy Factory instead. Several students paired up and played Versa Mate together. I told a few of them who do not have Versa Mate installed on their iPad that they could use the fraction ap of their choice. I roved the classroom to check what aps students had picked and talked with one student about how he likes VersaMate. I asked him what helped him in this ap. He told me that he never really understood how to figure out adding to make the whole until he played this game. There is a portion of the game where they need to match the correct addend to complete the whole. This is very helpful to support adding concepts.
I rewrote this test after carefully unpacking the standards. I think the most difficult concept in this mini unit is being able to show multiplying a fraction by a whole number in two different ways. I expect students will have a difficult time drawing groups of fractions or breaking it up into the unit fraction.
I listed what is expected for them to master in this mini unit at the top of the test. This helps students understand exactly what Common Core is expecting of them. I also post these on my white board for them to see every day. They also keep a copy on their iPad in Notes. It is fun to check them off as we master them!
I distributed the pretest, read the instructions to them, and asked for questions. There were none and they got busy working. It didn't take very long, so I suspect that most students have struggled with the concepts and that I will be teaching whole class instruction in this unit.