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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Scaffolded Fraction Exploration

After a bit of a detour to review a number of concepts on an upcoming systemwide math test, we're beginning our fraction study in earnest. Generally I like to begin any unit with an exploration that reviews past knowledge and introduces new knowledge. We typically explore the concept with a scaffolded list of activities.

Students worked on the exploration today by creating fraction bars using Google table. As they created bars from one whole to 12ths, they color coded the bars and labeled them with the fraction, number name, percent, decimal, and ratio. Once they completed the bars, they worked on 100% mosaic pictures using a 10 X 10 Google table. Below the table they have to create a table that lists each mosaic color, the total cells for that color and the fraction, decimal, and percent amount. When children finish with that, they'll use
another online tool to make a number of benchmark circle fractions.

As children work, I get a good idea of previous knowledge with regard to initial fraction concepts. At the end of the week, we'll make number lines from 0-2 that show all of these fraction amounts relative to one another. Once our systemwide test is complete, we'll return to fractions and learn with greater depth using a blended approach including hands-on manipulatives such as cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, and paper folding, videos, and problem solving.

I like this kind of deep learning and thinking that includes multiple, diverse paths of knowledge, concept, and skill attainment. Also all of these great tools make the study colorful and beautiful too.