My apologies for not posting a blog last week. Life got too complicated with an ailing parent and 7 hours in an emergency room. My priority will always be to prepare for class and the lessons I need to teach. So, please know that blogs may on occasion take the "back seat." I will try my best to keep this current on a weekly basis though.
The fifth graders have now begun a unit on fractions. This will be a three day week for them since they have their last Starbase on Thursday and school is out on Friday in recognition of Veteran's Day.
Students have begun using the value of a dollar in relation to 1/2, 1/4, 1/5, 1/10, 1/20, and 1/100 and converting the fractions into equivalent parts of 100, i.e. 1/2 is equal to 50/100. So as students think about adding fractions with unlike denominators they might think about 1/2 + 1/5 as 50 cents plus 20 cents equals 70 cents or 70/100 or 7/10.
Once again, this is not how we learned about adding fractions with unlike denominators. Your child is learning how to think about the fractions in relation to other fractions and it will allow them to do mental calculations quickly and efficiently with great success. Rest assured, however, that later in the unit we will learn the standard conversion of fractions in making like denominators by using LCM's (or least common multiples - sound familiar?).
This week we will delve deeper in using clocks to think about the fractions; 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, and 1/12. I began to introduce this last week and students expressed their dislike of analog clocks and their uncertainty of how to tell time with these clocks. So this was a teachable moment for me to go over how to tell time and there were some "aha moments" expressed.
If there is interest, I am willing to start an evening parent class (once a month or twice a month). Please contact me if you are interested in learning how your child is learning math.