Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Class Summary: Oct. 25-29

SOLs Covered: SOL 6.6 (New 6.4 & 6.6a, b) Multiplying and Dividing Fractions and Mixed Numbers
Math Dictionary Sections: (8) Estimating to Half or Whole & (9) Multiply & Divide Fractions
Upcoming Assessments: First Benchmark Test (Wed. 11/3/10); Multiply & Divide Fractions Quiz (Take-Home Thurs. 11/4/10)

After completing our Number Theory and Fractions Quiz on Monday, we jumped right into our Multiplication and Division of Fractions unit. While the steps for multiplying and dividing fractions are fairly simple, many students get caught up on how the results (aka the product or quotient) is contradictory to what they are used to when compared to working with whole numbers. They are used to multiplication giving a "bigger" number while division gives a "smaller" number. However, when working with "parts of parts" (multiplication) or "parts into groups of parts" (division) you have the opposite results. To combate this mental obsticle, we started with picture representations (which included number lines, virtual and hand-drawn fraction manipulatives, a S'mores PowerPoint, etc.) for finding the product or quotient, preventing most students from becoming confused.

After looking at the various picture representations, students were shown how to work the same problems using just the numbers and the simple directions that are "discussed" by the characters in the cartoon I created for the unit. We ended the week by starting our carefully breaking down a few word problems, mentally picturing what the situation would look like, in order to determine what operation the problem requires. We will continue working on this next week after the benchmark test and the unit will wrap up with a take-home quiz.

Students are reminded to utilize the four-day weekend to prepare for their benchmark test, which has been schedule for Wednesday, November 3, 2010 for all of Ms. Lambert's classes. All of the units/SOLs covered during the first term will be represented on the test, which are mentioned in the cartoon found in the previous blog post.

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