Fraction Ruler

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Today I really enjoyed a lesson from CMP2’s Bit and Pieces 1.  It is the first investigation, folding fraction strips.

IMG_2563The funny thing about this lesson was, even though my students thought it was below their level when they started it, they all were challenged while doing it.  I have done a few different activities with CMP in my classes, and even though students initially think it’s childish- they become challenged and push their learning when classroom activities and discussion happen.

It was great to hear student strategies on folding.  I tweeted about some of it today:

clip1Student explanations on how to create partitions was priceless.  I didn’t have to answer any questions once students got started.  They were extremely helpful to their peers, and great conversations about equivalent fractions happened often.  The only challenge for students was the 5ths fold.  I had hoped to get good ideas form students this year on how to fold it (I haven’t really gotten one that is solid for everyone), but had to go with my old standby of rolling the paper and counting how many edges we create.

The reason I wanted students to see this activity is because they have been struggling with fractions so far this year.  I have students all over in their math background and what work they are doing in the classroom, and there have been many errors in common denominators, adding/subtracting fractions, mult/dividing fractions, solving fractional equations, or even solving fractional polynomial equations.  With this first small step, I could see the light behind many of my student’s eyes as they reconnected with old concepts and made new understanding.

How do you fold 12ths?  Was my favorite question and received various great responses.  How would you answer that question?

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