Fractions, fractions, fractions, and more fractions. We’ve finished up equivalent fractions and moved on to adding fractions.
To begin with, I’ve used a variety of fraction apps as station based learning so that I can work in small groups with students. One of my favorites is Slice It!, an app where students have to split shapes into equal pieces. I like this one because of the focus on equal sized pieces. I also like Smart Pirates, as it deals with fraction identification, equivalents, and adding fractions. Another app that the kids like is Fractions+. Matching fractions to pieces and connecting rows make this game-like app a favorite. But one of my iLessons began with the app Oh No Fractions! The full version (worth the money) has equivalent fractions plus all four operations. I gave the students no guidance other than to play the adding fractions game and be able to tell me at the end, how to find equivalent fractions. The app has both a Show Me feature and an I’ve Got It part. It guides children through creating common denominators and then adding. The kids had to turn in an index card at the end of the activity telling how to add fractions. About 40% of the kids found the key before I ever gave any instruction. I love inquiry based learning.
I also created an adding fraction tutorial for my students. As I posted earlier, I love the tutorial idea because it allows my children to access the instruction whenever they want to. While a few of my students access the video from our class site at home, the bulk of my kids use it in class. By having the tutorial accessible on their iPads, students can use the video whenever they need it. Those needing less support can work from the tutorial while I work with a small group who needs more intensive support.
While working on adding fractions, we also did a performance assessment. Students had to use fraction pieces to create pairs of fractions. They then took pictures using the iPads of each pair of fractions. The following day, students uploaded their photos into Doodle Buddy and created number sentences using their own fraction pieces. After solving the problems, they uploaded them to Dropbox for grading. I love it when the kids own their work. I gave them no portion of this assignment. They created everything themselves.
Looking for an activity that wouldn’t increase the already hefty Christmas/Full Moon hype, I stumbled across the Ugly Christmas Sweater writing idea from iintegratetechnology. Utilizing the popularity of the ugly holiday sweater theme, I was able to hook my kids on a writing task that kept them occupied those last few days before Christmas.
I began by making sure that all of my kids knew what the ugly holiday sweater theme was all about. We watched
the popular television commercial for Bank of America on Youtube. Next, we used the app Ugly Holiday Sweaters to ugly sweater ourselves for the holiday season. Some of these pictures were absolutely great! Keep in mind, I’ve not yet given the writing prompt. After students worked with a partner to get a photo of themselves in their ugly sweater, I finally gave the directions. Students had to write descriptively and persuasively to convince me that their’s was the most beautiful sweater in the world. Oh the moans and groans!
The children wrote great essays about their sweaters. To publish, students used Bill Atkinson’s Photocard app. On one side of the postcard was an image of them in their ugly holiday sweater, and on the other side they typed their written piece.
I posted last year about a neat way that we worked on equivalent fractions. We ate our way through equivalent fractions. The lesson was so engaging, that I tweaked it a bit, and used it again.
I used my awesome Ken-a-Vision document camera and the corresponding app Educam to send my students an image of three different candy bars. Students had to split each candy bar into equivalent fractions using the annotation tools in Educam. Educam has pen and text tools that let students illustrate an image I send from the document camera. I particularly love this tool because it is so easy to use. Just check out my students’ work.
I also utilized a Explain Everything to create a tutorial video for my students. So many of my students need extra help and often I just can’t get to everyone. By putting this video in Dropbox, my kids can access it anytime from their iPads. I also put it on my school website so that students and parents can access it at home too.
I’ve decided tutorials are a really great way to give my students direct instruction, even when I can’t get to them physically. I’ll definitely be using more of these in class.