Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fraction Fairy Tales and No Excuse Words!

So, two things on my mind lately:  Fractions (our next math unit) and these "No Excuse Words" our students have to master.  The words are a list that students have to spell correctly in their writing that is sectioned into 3 parts:  by the end of first, second, and third grades.  Looking at the list, it starts out easy enough:  a, I, the, etc.  It goes onto words like "were" and "their" as you progress.  

So, we pre tested students at the beginning of the year and, like you'd expect, it was a mixed result.  However, I haven't done much with it since then, honestly, because we've been focused on mastering other skills.  Now that we've gone beyond 100 days (110 to be exact), I'm starting to worry about my lower readers and writers who have not quite mastered all the words!  I wracked my brain, wondering what I could do to help them practice these without the old fashioned "write 3 times each".....and, as we all know, students can master spelling words on a test, but not apply them to everyday writing!

So, brainstorm!  A "write the room" activity!

Which then led me to fractions.  One of the hardest skills for our second graders is comparing fractions.  Right now, we're finishing up comparing numbers with our little monsters we made and number cards.  Here's the picture from Pinterest (because of course, did I think of taking a picture?  Of course not!  Too busy teaching - oh, and having my formal observation.  I'm sure it would've gone over well if I said, "Yeah, I need to take a pic for my blog! LOL).  
 Math Monster Munchers -- greater than less than equals
I'm wondering if on my evaluation (which I have not seen yet) it'll say I need to use the term "greater than/less than" more than "monsters," which my students like to use! We did not add teeth, but I added an eye on the corner like the picture and let my kids decorate their own.  They'll be able to take them home and practice this coming week! :)

It's something about fractions, though, and using these symbols.  I found a GREAT resource at this website and went a little crazy printing out worksheets.  However, I felt justified when my grade level went a little nutsy too and we duplo'ed all of them!  Hey, practice makes perfect, right?

color fractions

Well, I started thinking about kiddos have enjoyed our "battle" games so far with place value (base 10) and comparing numbers, so I figured I'd create another one for them with equivalent fractions!   They love a good vs. bad theme, and we've already done Star Wars, ninjas, and super I went with fairy tales this time!

I hope you'll be able to use one of these resources in your own class!  Click on the pictures for more information!


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