# 1. Bar Fractions

This activity is adapted from Jo Boaler’s “Mindset Mathematics – Grade 5”, page 106. The only change we made is to use a bar rather than a square. We will use squares for a fraction activity later this week.

Step One (Concrete)

Pass out 5 blocks to each child: 2 Red, 2 Blue and 1 Green(or other color…) We use snap cubes, but any cubes will work. Alternatively, squares of construction paper will work. Continue reading Bar Fractions and Snowflake Fractions

## Let’s Play‘Alpha Beta Gamma’.

We like this game because it encourages cooperation without leading to too much competition between groups. Since the composition of each group changes constantly, students don’t feel overly tied to the scores of a given group. Continue reading WEEK THREE – Activity TWO – More Word Problems

## WEEK THREE – Activity One; Word Problems, + a Note on Differentiation

Our first unit is a twin unit of Fractions (mostly visual) and Word problems. We begin working with both these topics very early in the year, so that we have all year to incorporate them into every unit.  We find that word problems are an excellent way to teach fractions, too. Our next two units will be place value, patterns and multiplication, after which we will return to fractions in more depth.

This introduction to 5th grade word problems starts at the concrete, as it should.

Procedure:

PROBLEM ONE

1. Pass out a handful of rainbow cubes (smallest base-10 blocks) or similar per child.
2. Have each child count out 11 blocks, and set the others aside.
3. Project or write up Problem 1.

# 1. Warm Up

Put this puzzle up as a warm up. It is a little easier than last week’s puzzles, and this is a good time to build confidence with this type of logic problem. Have students try this one alone.

Sign #2 cannot be true, since it then declares itself false. Therefore, sign 2 is true …

## 1. WARM UP –  The Fraction Template

Project the fraction template below.  Click for pdf:  fraction template

Photocopy it for students if at all possible. Our 5th graders keep one in their binder for weeks.

Ask simply : “WHAT DO YOU SEE? You can’t give a wrong answer – whatever you see is true.” Early answers might refer to colors and numbers. Accept all as true. Gradually ….

## THE LADY OR THE TIGER

##### (~60 minutes)

A puzzle has the ability to pull children into the subject of math. A story even more so. Let’s combine the two.

### 1. The Story

We start this activity by reading a condensed version of Frank Stockton’s classic tale “The Lady or the Tiger”.  One source online:

After the story, we discuss the word “Ambiguity”, since the children are fascinated and frustrated by the fact that the author does not give an answer to the question “Did …

## WEEK ONE – Activity One – A Logic Problem

Activities in the first couple weeks need to draw the children in. Even (especially!) those who think they dislike math. We avoid computation, instead looking for activities that involve ambiguity, head-scratching patterns, puzzles and stories.

### ACTIVITY ONE

TEACHING LOGIC FIRST: (~15 minutes)

A puzzle has the ability to pull children into the subject of math. It appeals to a wide range of learners and can generate small feelings of success….

## THREE GUIDELINES FOR CHANGE

1. Concrete  −> Pictorial −> Abstract. This is perhaps Singapore’s greatest contribution to math pedagogy. Based on research that goes back over a hundred years (Dewey, Bruner, Piaget, Vygotsky, Montessori, and others), Singapore validated the strength of this approach by using it to achieve top scores internationally.  Continue reading Our Goals in Teaching Math