26 June 2012

Fraction Action

Last week we launched our last unit for the year-Fractions. It will be a short one, however we decided it would be important to have at the end.
We learned about Numerator and Denominator and came up with the definition that we call the top number the Numerator and it is the number of parts you have. We call the bottom number the Denominator and it is the number of parts the whole is divided into.
At the end of the week we looked at Equivalent Fractions and understood that:

 Equivalent Fractions

Equivalent Fractions have the same value, even though they may look different.

These fractions are really the same:


Why are they the same? Because when you multiply or divide both the top and bottom by the same number, the fraction keeps its value.

I found some good websites about the Fractions and showed already the students the activities they can do at home during summer vacation. Here are some of them:



This week we will do some more activities on Fractions and will finish our 2011/2012 School year on Friday!

03 June 2012

It has been another busy week for the Middies Maths class. We looked mostly at Division problems as our Unit come to the end.
There is no doubt that most children find division harder than multiplication, yet there is little real reason for this to be so. Most division questions can be turned on their head to be made to look like multiplication. This is what I explained to them:
  • 30 ÷ 5 =??  can be thought as what number times 5 makes 30?
  • ?? ÷ 6 = 7 can be thought of as 6 times 7.
  • 60 ÷ ?? = 10 can be thought of as what number times 10 makes 60?
We broke up into several groups and took all the possible equipment in the class for division. The students used buttons, pencils, pens, markers, cubes etc to solve their word problems.

Last Wednesday I set a mathematics task for students again. They got different activities that should be finished by next June 11th as 4th Graders will be on the Field Trip. I spent some time with each student and explained exactly what they should do. Feel free however to look at their assignment if they ask you for help.

27 May 2012

Multiplication activities

Last week we continued Multiplication ad Division Unit paying more attention to understand the principles of multiplication. On Wednesday and Thursday we worked in different groups with enormous choices of activities. As a part of our Unit of Inquiry the students designed a cage for the animals and calculated its area. They understood that in order to find the area they needed to use multiplication. The students also continued to use the flashcards, bingo multiplication games, and representing the number in many different ways using division or multiplication. We also took one of the examples to the celebration of learning and asked other students some questions about it.

On Friday we had a short Maths trip outside of the classroom. Each student got a clipboard, a paper and a pencil and we estimated the areas of the windows outside, the playground, the school bus and some other objects. They rounded to the nearest whole number and then it was easier for them to calculate the answers.
e.g 5m x 3m=15 square meters


12 May 2012

Last Thursday I set a mathematics task for students. They got different activities that should be finished by next Wednesday, May 16th. I spent some time with each student and explained exactly what they should do. Feel free however to look at their assignment if they ask you for help.

Due date: Wednesday 16th May

Last week we worked on Understanding Multiplication using different strategies. One concept the students needed to figure out quickly was that the order of the factors does not matter. However I wanted students to realize this on their own. If 5 x 8 is 5 groups of 8, it may not be immediately clear for the student that 8 x 5, which would be 8 groups of 5, is exactly the same. I created an activity with the buttons and numbers for the class. I showed them different numbers on the carpet (12, 24, 30, 55, 100 etc) and asked to show me that number using the sets of buttons (Multiplication). All of them understood that for example 24 can be represented as 4 x 6, some of them showed 6 x 4 and I spent some time on showing them the groups of 2 x 12, 12 x 2 and 1 x 24.

Some students also worked on a Healthy Lunch Menu showing their Multiplication skills. I asked them to think of all healthy products they would like to add to the menu. Their task was to write the price for each product and then they multiplied it by 15 Students in the class. They came up with very good answers.

06 May 2012

Multiplication vs Division

Last week we started our new Unit in Maths Multiplication and Division. Our 'big ideas' will be to understand the meaning, use and connections between multiplication and division. During our maths lessons students investigated the relationship between multiplication and division as well. They learned that these are opposite processes.

We started with Pre-Assessment activities where I investigated students` knowledge and understanding about number. From these tasks I identified the learning engagements I would plan for students. Students also recognized that it didn’t matter whether you did 6×3 or 3×6 the answer would be the same. Just as in division 18/3=6 and 18/6=3.

On the posters below you can see the students working in groups. I divided them into four groups and gave them an activity to show me how they understand Multiplication and Division using words, pictures and numbers.

This is how it looked at the end of the class.

30 April 2012

Summative Assessment

Last week our Addition and Subtraction unit came to an end. We finished it with the Summative Assessment that the students wrote on Friday.
I gave students the activities of three different levels. Each level consisted of Addition and Subtraction problems and also Number Sentences. Some students showed their basic addition skills ranging from a single digit to two digit. For other students the math problems were ranged from two digit, two addend without carrying to more complicated 3 digit, 4 addend with carrying.
Children solve addition and subtraction problems in many ways. The best way to learn how children figure out problems was to ask them and to check on writing.

All the Summative Assessments will eventually be stored in each student's portfolio. Our next topic will be Multiplication and Division.

01 April 2012

Regrouping with Addition and Subtraction

There are many ways to teach addition and subtraction. Over the last few weeks we tried many different activities and I thought it was the right time to spend more time on regrouping.
This week we have been working on Regrouping with Addition and Subtraction. The students got very familiar with the steps that need to be done to regroup. Addition with regrouping requires the students to use manipulatives to demonstrate how they move "ten" ones over to the tens column. Some students meanwhile have finished working on 4 digit addition and we are reviewing subtraction regrouping.
Manipulatives are the best way to demonstrate the mathematical concepts of"regrouping" which is really what you we doing in adding and subtracting rather than carrying and borrowing. Regrouping is more accurately based on place value, so children can more readily master these math skills. The students found out that regrouping means that if you add a column and get a sum that is greater than 9, you must regroup due to place value.

On Thursday I showed them different ways of adding two/three/four numbers using vertical form. We also looked at kidsmathblog.com and found the following: