For this warm up I have each student write down any fraction they want on a small piece of paper. I do limit them somewhat and ask students to choose a denominator of 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, or 12. For this activity, I don't want students using obscure fractions like 4/28 simply because it could slow the activity down drastically.
Next, I have student pass their paper to the right on my signal. Students are responsible for writing and creating an equivalent fraction for the fraction they just got.
Then, on my signal again, students hand back their fractions and check the equivalent fraction. If a student disagrees with the new fraction that was written, they talk with the student who wrote it and come up with a conclusion about whether or not the fraction was equivalent.
All research shows that we learn by Doing. That is, by applying what we have learned. This makes learners process the information and make their own sense of it. This is called ‘constructivism’.
Research emphatically shows that active methods create deeper learning and higher achievement, create better recall by students, develop high order reasoning skill, and are enjoyed by students.
Active learning makes students form their own meaning of the material and come to their own understanding of it.
In a previous lesson, students modeled finding a fraction of a whole number. In this lesson, students will use the skill within a context.
I hand each partner the three problems from the fraction and whole numbers worksheet. fraction of a whole number in context.doc
Each partner decides on a problem to solve. Student may use paper, manipulatives, or other models to help them solve the problem they chose. Students will then use the Ipad app 'doceri' to present their solutions.
As students solve a problem, I circulate around the room to guide their thinking and clear up misunderstandings. I also assist students when they begin using the doceri app. This is the FIRST time my students have used this app. We have used other similar apps in the past, but not this one. A colleague showed me doceri and I liked the feature of being able to run doceri from an Ipad to my computer and then to my classroom projector. I am hoping to be able to present student solutions this way.
The doceri app is an important component of this lesson because it allows my students to show what they know in a digital platform. While I continue to seek ways to allow technology to transform rather than just enhance my instruction, I have to be willing to try new apps, new technology, and be comfortable taking risks.
A good way to help my students in learning a subject matter is to give them opportunities in which they can teach the material to others. One way to informally teach others is to simply explain the material to your friends or other students who are having trouble with the lessons. Statistics show that people learn more by teaching others. The doceri app allows my students to explain the concept to others in an engaging way.
For this wrap up, I ask students to share challenges and joys from the doceri presentation design. While this wrap up isn't content driven, it is important that I continue to build and connect with students. Also, the goals of 21st century learning in the elementary classroom are to help each child communicate, collaborate, and exercise creativity and critical thinking while both consuming and producing content that connects them with their world in ways that are personally meaningful and relevant.
I think it is important to find out from my students if the app was easy to use and aspects of the app they liked. Staying attuned to latest technology and apps is important for me to connect with them and find new ways to reach all learners.