Fractions: Transferring From Blocks to Word Problems

Word Problems – YAY!
Our intensive use of Cuisenaire rods came to fruition now as we attempt to transfer fraction visualization to word problems. Here are the 2 lessons we spent on this so far:

CW Frac to WP1  and  CW Frac to WP2

We used a format called “Builders and Scribes”.

  • Group students in pairs. We then sent each pair to the white boards (we have very long white boards), but they could work at mini-white boards at their desks, too.
  • One student starts as the “Builder”, the other as the “Scribe”. The builder uses Cuisenaire rods, laid out on a mini-white IMG_4518board or clipboard.  (no pencil/pen for the builder). The scribe uses a white board pen (no blocks for the scribe) and records what the builder has built. The builder stands next to their scribe and they set to work. Of course, there’s a lot of collaboration and role-sharing at both ends of this; that’s absolutely fine 🙂
  • There are hints for each word problem, but wait as long as possible before showing them. Our first goal is to MAXIMIZE THINKING TIME, not necessarily to get right answers quickly. However, we also want to avoid completely losing the students, too. Perhaps there’s a Golden Confusion Level 🙂  Let them struggle and think and try, then give a little boost up.pit.jpg
  • After each problem, ask for a little feedback. “What was the hardest wall to get over?”
  • Then the partners switch roles for the next problem.



HW#6  and  HW#6_answ_key

HW#7 and  HW#7 key

HW#8  and HW8_key

Quiz 1  and  Quiz1_key

Here’s a Cuisenaire riddle/puzzle for CW, too, if there’s time: CW 10_2 Cuis_puz


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