While messing with adding the images to this week's blog, I actually came across last week's blog that I thought I lost. So here it is (a little out of order, but thought I'd add it anyway.)
This upcoming week I will only meet with the 5th grade on Tuesday. Students have been working on adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators by using clocks and money as models to see the fractional parts. They looked back over their pretests and assessed how they did. They were surprised by how much they now know compared to what they knew when they took the pretest.
This past week they worked on finding fractional parts of whole numbers like 1/3 of 30, 1/4 of 30, 1/6 of 30 and 1/12 of 30, as they built maps of a river trail (30 km long) with sites along the trail. As they determined 1/6 of the trail, they then determined 2/6, 3/6, etc. and are now applying this experience to knowing how to find specific parts of a whole.
Soon they will be using the standard procedure (the way we all were taught) to find common denominators. However, they are all becoming more proficient in thinking about fractions and what a half, third, or sixth of something looks like. Also it is a tricky concept to think about 1/3 being less than 1/2 when three has always had a higher value than two in all other math encounters besides fractions. Our fraction unit will continue up until our winter holiday.
Below are some pics of the students working with partners to create their River Trail Maps.