Friday, March 15, 2013

Learning Design: Fraction/Decimal Time!

Our class will study fractions in earnest in the next few weeks.  Students had an introduction during our fall measurement unit, and practice with initial concepts using SumDog and Symphony Math.

As I think about the new unit standards for our grade level, my class's learning profile, and the multiple tools available, I look forward to crafting and teaching this unit for best effect. In a year, the tools and information online as well as the time for collaboration and student-centered teaching efforts in-house have increased dramatically hence I'm delighted to work with my team to plan a terrific learning unit.

First, I'll start with the Standards for Mathematical Practice.  I'll set up a chart so that as I plan the unit activities, I include each standard.

Next, I'll attend to the fraction and decimals standards which are outlined on a Fourth Grade Standards' Presentation (images of these standards are located at the bottom of this post). Each standard is accompanied by a short introductory film to refresh my memory and model one approach to each concept. I'll watch each film and study the standards.

I've also hung up wonderful posters of the grade-level fraction/decimal vocabulary in the class, and plan to create a number of crossword puzzles and other presentation tools to help students practice saying, writing and figuring out the meaning of these words by using the clues, posters and classmates' help.

I will assess students preliminary knowledge and skill as they complete the Fraction 360 packet.  Students will also make their own fraction bars using Google table.

Our grade-level team will meet at PLC for the next two weeks to review the concepts and share materials. Prior to this meeting, I'll re-look at last year's efforts which are documented in part on my blog and math website. We'll review the pages and activities in our math curriculum online and hard copy that teach the standards.  We'll also share other materials that we plan to use to teach the unit. The intermediate math coach will share his knowledge and information related to this unit too.

In my class, I'll start teaching the unit with a a review of the measurement and fraction concepts we worked on in the fall utilizing the ruler as a model for a fraction number line.

After that, I'll give the class a pre-assessment to see what students already know with regard to the concepts, knowledge and skill.

Once I analyze the pre-assessment, I'll plan a learning path that helps every child achieve the standards with a number of activities including explicit teaching, paper/pencil practice, online videos and games, crossword puzzles, problem solving and a differentiated project that will probably use digital tools to help solidify students' discussion, thinking and understanding. I'll utilize a number of formative assessments along the way to support students work, and also employ our RTI Math time to foster this learning.

This will be a valuable learning journey for the fourth grade student-teacher team, and a chance for our learning community to invest in planning and executing content/process with focus and depth.

Related posts/Links:
Khan Project
Khan Project Continues
Using a Ruler to Teach Fractions
Learning Fractions in a Flipped Classroom
Fourth Grade Fraction Project Film
Math Website: Fractions
BBC Fractions

Grade Four Math Standards