Saturday, November 24, 2012

comparing fractions

Part of our curriculum is to teach our students how to compare fractions.  We focus a great deal on equipping students with strategies for doing this mentally.  They take part in an investigation where they 'discover' these mental strategies.  Though many students dislike the initially struggle, they realize that developing these mental strategies saves them time in the end.  If they just stop and THINK they can often discover which fraction is larger without ever even thinking about 'common denominators.' 

One reality is that sometimes the use of equivalent fractions is necessary and we ask the kids to use common denominators as a last resort. 

This foldable was created with the students AFTER the investigation and BEFORE the weekly quiz.  It was intended to be a summary reference piece.  I created it with the intention of it being used as a FLOWCHART.  If you look closely, students are asked to try one of the mental strategies at the top and then it is suggested that they move to the bottom of the foldable flowchart if one of the mental strategies did not apply.

{all folded up}                     {as you open}

{close up of mental strategies-outside}

  {close up of mental strategies-inside}
{what to do if one of the mental strategies doesn't work}

sometimes life gets in the way

Life has been nothing short of insane since school has started.  I apologize for putting this and my other blogs on hold while I have tried to piece things together.  Though I have incorporated foldables and my new Math Important Book project in my classroom instruction this year, I have failed to document.  I will do my best to soon post what I have done so far this year.