I had it ALL planned out perfectly. Each lesson was going to flow so nicely....they would all connect...were so engaging...the materials were all created.
I also had an observation planned. Preconference questions were completed....lesson plans triple checked and submitted....materials were all handy, ready to go.
Then the week came and with it came sick days and ice. And what else can you do but...
Natalie and I introduced fractions this year with a Powerpoint presentation. It showed real objects split into fractions. Then it broke down what a fraction is and how it applies to everyday life. I wasn't sure how it was going to go. You spend hours making something, thinking it will be just perfect and it bombs. This didn't. I think it really helped them to understand the concept and got them excited. YES!!!
We wanted to continue to build on the foundation that we had set through our discussion with the Powerpoint. So we started this lesson off with a sort of equal versus unequal. Our goal was to make sure they understood this before moving on.
Once we did the quick sort together, we moved into analyzing how we can take the same shape (rectangle) and split it into halves, thirds, or fourths. The Common Core standard requires our firsties to use lots of different language to describe the shares or parts. We worked on modeling how to use this language as we cut the rectangle and labeled the parts. At the end of the lesson, each student had little book to take home and share with their families.
(I made my own model as we worked on theirs. But I labeled mine using some of the different vocab like "quarter" or "fourth." But, of course, I forgot to take a picture!)
We have introduced, modeled, and now we wanted them to apply this. Cynthia from KinderKay had a book that helped us with this. The students had to divide the shapes equally and write the corresponding fraction.
My goal for this lesson was to understand if they could sort fractions but then EXPLAIN their thinking. I really wanted to know what language they could/would use for this.
First, I looked at the pre-assessment and gave them a sort that I felt worked on the skills they needed. I had created differentiated fraction sorts.
Then I asked each kid in my group to explain how they sorted their shapes/objects. A couple students sorted their shapes incorrectly. When it was their turn, they told us how they had sorted incorrectly and that they learned this by listening to the others in their group. It was one of those moments where I just wanted to cry. I was so EXCITED to see them learning from each other.
As they discussed their sorts, I used this little checklist to help me see what words they were using or not using.
Natalie and I assessed our firsties on fractions. They did really well. We were so pleased. But we still had a couple of lessons that we just really wanted to do because we love them. These will happen next week or as a follow up at the end of the year.
Even though the week was filled with some weather/sick craziness, I think we conquered (or st