Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Student-Owned Fraction Enquiries

This idea might finally help me solve my biggest struggle as a maths teacher: catering to so many different levels of understandings of fractions. 

Children enter Year 6 with really diverse levels of understandings with fractions. Some children need to revisit comparing the sizes of fractions whilst others show they understand how to multiply and divide them. I even have some children learning how to multiply and divide positive and negative fractions on Khan Academy (!)

We looked at our central idea and a continuum of understanding ways we manipulate fractions.  (see below)

We briefly discussed examples of each skill along the continuum. Then decided where we felt we were with our understandings and therefore which is the next skill we ought to enquire into.  

We also discussed how understanding WHY we would want to manipulate fractions by adding, subtracting etc is really important.  If we don't understand real life situations, then we don't really have a deep understanding of that skill.  

We then  placed our names on the continuum beside a skill we felt we should enquire into and if someone else in our class was also going to enquire into that skill, we could decided whether to buddy up or not. 

These were the steps we are using to structure our enquiries: 

    Manipulating Fractions Enquiries

Step 1:   Find out how to do the skill.   
      Use a mix of websites, Google images and Youtubes.
Step 2:   Practise the skill in your maths book.
Step 3:   Create an activity page (on A4 paper) that will help you practise the skill next week for home learning.  OR find word problems and paste these on to a Google doc.
Step 4:   Find examples of how we use that skill in real life situations.
Step 5:   Publish your enquiry neatly.  The word problems should be your own, not copied from the Internet.  Use the Internet as inspiration only.    (We will be using word problems next week)
Creative Thinker:
Step 6:   Create a hands on activity that you can use to peer teach other classmates the skill and ways we use it in real life.

Fractions enquiry publishing paper: 

After looking at the steps, a few us reflected back to our learning pyramid and shared how these steps would really help us to remember and deepen our learning.  I love how they continually refer back to this in our discussions

Learning Pyramid Google Doc Activity

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