Almost everyday when students come into the classroom for their math lesson, I have them work on an iPad app to spiral review or to strengthen fact knowledge. Today we opened up one of our favorite apps and began matching up candy bars with orders placed in the Candy Factory. My students LOVE this app. I love it because it is not only engaging, but is leveled and strengthens their conceptual understanding of equivalent fractions. I have noticed as we use this app, more students are recalling that certain fractions are equivalent to certain fractions. This makes teaching them to simplify much easier. The visual that this app offers must be helping them retain.
Students worked on this app for about ten minutes prior to the quiz. This settled them down and got their minds set for multiplying fractions against whole numbers.
Before handing out the quiz I wanted to make sure students reviewed what kind of strategies they would be using to solve problems on this quiz. I told them that it would all be about multiplication. There would be no two step problems, but that they needed to think about whether or not their answers made sense.
So, I asked them to say aloud the strategies we would be using. They mentioned their dissecting strategies, KWS ( What do we know? What do we want to know? How do we solve? ( situation) )I told them that they needed to use the KWS to ensure they were answering the question that the problem posed. They also mentioned pictures. I drew circles and bars to symbolize it on the board.
We talked about properly writing equations and labeling our work correctly.
I reviewed a couple of simple multiplication equations and we solved them together. I also reviewed the part of the standard that expects students to be able to name what two whole numberstheir fractional answers lies between.
We wrote a silly word problem about 10 cows in a field. 2/3 of them were Holsteins. ( Coming from Wisconsin, this is very appropriate, although we are seeing less and less Holsteins around here!)
We discussed that we could tell that there would be a fractional answer and that you could not have a fraction of a cow. I told them that it made sense then to say " What whole number does your answer lie between and that it was ok to say, there are between _ and _ Holsteins in that herd.
So we solved the problem together coming up with 6 2/3 Holsteins. I reminded them of the bent number line model we used for estimation and drew one putting 1/2 at the peak and 6 and 7 on either side. Between? We drew the bent model into thirds and could see how 2/3 was almost 7. Therefore our answer was about 7 were Holsteins.
I wrote this 10 point quiz to align exactly with the standard. It covers everything in 4.NF.B.4 for a, b & c. I passed out the quiz and they began working quietly. It was a quick quiz for some, but for others, the parts of the standard not mastered surfaced. I counseled with each student after the quiz and we checked their work one on one. They had immediate feedback and I assigned IXL work for the evening homework to help them get better.
When they were finished, I asked them to work on IXL.Com on their Mission Cards. Mission Cards are developed from MAPs test scores, past math skills that need practice and from student interest. I can download their progress from IXL and clearly see what they have been mastering in the records provided in this awesome website. I often print off their particular goal records and they set to work on mastering weak areas after I council with them. I like call these goal cards "Mission Cards". In this photo, you can see where the student needs improvement. I have a subscription to IXL and the reports are part of that. I can design everything to fit CCSS for the student. Not all of the IXL lessons are CCSS because it is an international site. So, I need to be careful. But, as you can see, the student clearly sees what skill needs work.