Thursday, January 23, 2014

cooperative learning with fractions vocabulary

This week my students did a great vocabulary activity to help acquaint them with some of the vocabulary related to fractions.

After some pre-assessment and introductory lessons, I had a pretty good idea of where each student was in terms of their overall understanding of fractions. Based on this, I placed them into vocabulary groups: fraction, numerator, denominator, equivalent fraction, and simplest form. When I introduced the activity, I gave students freedom to pair up in their groups, work as an entire group, or work independently. Their task was to figure out what their vocabulary meant by defining it in their own words, modeling it with pictures and/or manipulatives, and using it in a sentence. Their overall goal was to understand the term so that they could teach it to the other groups.

They used Chromebooks and dictionaries to help understand the term and wrote about it in their math notebooks. Then, I gave them all this form... document their learning. Their goal was to fill their page by asking others to explain their research, and, of course, to ultimately come to understand the terminology themselves. It was a great cooperative learning exercise and we were able to have a great reflection session afterward. We will definitely be digging deeper into the concepts of equivalency and simplification in the coming weeks, but I'm happy that they all have a beginning understanding of these difficult (for some) concepts.

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