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 ap offers must be helping them retain.
I think allowing students the experience of correcting their homework gives them the confidence they need in mastering the standard. By correcting their own homework, it allows a safe environment to be wrong, celebrate being right, and setting goals. It holds them accountable for learning. So today, I brought up the Word Document Multiplying Fractions and Word Problems on the SB from yesterday's lesson.
As I wrote on the SB, we solved each one and discussed each answer. A misconception came up as we worked on the last problem. One student inserted a plus sign where the multiplication sign should be when solving a multiplication problem with the whole number. She said she realized that she was not creating the correct answer because it didn't make sense when she drew out the fractional model to prove it. She was trying to explain why perhaps a classmate kept getting another fraction in the word problem. Student instruction and explanation of misconceptions they once had really helped today. I love it when they are working together like this to help each other master standards.
I divided up my class in two groups. Those who needed extra support met me at my table and the others worked independently solving word problems from IXL.com F S.3. This is the resource that was used for the duration of the lesson. Some of the problems are very simple to do, but I expected that everyone prove their work on paper using equations or fractional models. This supported the standard and helped students strengthen their skills. The students who were with me used one iPad as the word problem was read aloud. They used their notebooks as I helped them solve three problems using the white boards in my lap. I showed ways of proving the problem using fractional models and then graduated them into solving them using just multiplication. Then, I gave students the white board as they solved together. Some misconceptions about the whole and decomposing surfaced.Trying to explain a whole We worked together to solve the issue. WE got the whole! This helped us get over the hump we needed to! Mastery was in sight!
To test them I divided them up and told them that they needed to solve the word problem as a team from the IXL F. S.3 lesson. They needed to compete and be the first done with the correct equation, solution and proof in solving their problem. They loved it! There was a lot of hollering going on as they coached each other if one lagged behind in solving. I told them they couldn't tell each other the answers, but to coach steps. What happened each time is that both teams were correct. We played about 8 rounds.
I closed their session with asking if there were any questions or problems. I asked what helped them the most.
One student said that it just helped to sit and talk about each step. Another student said she didn't know how to figure out the whole in the word problems when there was decomposition (This is interesting to me because she mastered adding unit fractions to make the whole in the past. I see how in a different context, she did not connect the understanding.)
For fun, I partnered up students to play a game as I had led in the RTI group a few minutes before.
Game ON! They all thought it was a great idea to compete to see who could solve word problems quickly. I brought the same IXL website up on the SB, read the problem and students in partners started solving. I picked the hands that went up first. The label is on the answer on the website, so they just had to accurately give me the numerical answer. It was crazy fun. The energy for solving the problems was high. But, soon students were solving them in their head. IT was great to see one of the students I had helped take off! Mastering it in my head!
We played for 15 minutes. Today was Friday and there was a talent show to attend!
I assigned the same IXL site to practice on over the weekend. I want them ready for a quiz on Monday!
As I worked on intervention with my students at my table, I had noticed students talking to each other and comparing solutions to problems. The quiet sort of engagement that I was witnessing pleased me because the students at my table were really needing my full attention. When we joined together to play a whole class game at solving word problems, things got rowdy and full of energy. The competition was generating a lot of energy. This movie clip expresses my thoughts and plans on how I am going to be sure the "why" of solving the problems is solid. I think we are getting there!