Fractional Observations

Students used an image of their homeroom to generate fractional data.

This is not a tech heavy iLesson, but it is a good example of how a glimmer of a tech really hooks the kids.  A while back we were reviewing basic fraction identification.  Let’s face it, this can get boring.  To liven things up, I paired up my students and sent each pair to a homeroom class to take a class photo.  My kids were responsible for getting the whole class together and taking a picture with the iPad.  The only stipulation was that you had to be able to see each of the students’ faces.

After returning to class, each pair of students had to analyze their photo and do some fractional observations.  Because they used the iPad to take the photo, the students were able to zoom in and manipulate the photo to get more information.  The task was to make observations using fractions about the students in the photo.  I put very few limits on this project and gave very little guidance.  I was pleasantly surprised by the data my kids were able to generate from their photos.  Most partners had between 12-15 observations about their image.  Some were basic observations like 13/21 are girls and 7/19 have long hair.  But some were super detailed and things I never would have thought of: 12/19 are smiling and 4/12 show their teeth in the smile.  Because I didn’t give the kids any preconceived ideas, all of the data they generated was completely unique.

The students finished up the project by printing their photo and typing up their observations.  They presented the photo and data to the homeroom teacher and had to give a brief summary of their findings.  Even though this lesson wasn’t tech heavy, the kids were still hooked.  That is one of the beauties of technology – the kids love it.  It doesn’t take much to engage them.  With the learning in their hands, the kids owned that lesson.

Using the group photo, students created original and authentic fractional observations.