Friday, April 8, 2016

Keep It Simple: Bulletin Boards part 2 and a freebie!

In an effort to Keep It Simple, I decided to change my main bulletin board only three times this year. You can see my first two bulletin boards here.

Now that spring has arrived I needed to take down my fraction snowmen.
I can't say that I am sad to see them go. I am looking forward to warmer weather and lots of sunshine.

Last year we had 11 snow days! (That is not a typo) and when spring approached I was just starting my fraction unit. So I used these fraction flowers to have the students demonstrate their understanding of adding and subtracting fractions.

On each of the five petals the students had to give two equivalent fractions, draw a picture of their fraction, create an additions problem and a subtraction problem that equaled their fraction. If you are interested in a free copy of this activity, you can get it here.

This year I finished my fraction unit just as spring arrived. Knowing that my previous flower activity would not be a challenge for my students, I gave it an update.
This time the students need to create an equivalent fraction, an addition problem, a subtraction problem, a multiplication problem and a division problem. We pretty much reviewed our entire unit on this one flower!
I love the division problem that this student created. It difficult to see since they colored the section in grey but it says 5 ÷ 10. I love that they remembered that a whole number divided by a larger whole number can be converted to a fraction to solved it. Most students divided a fraction by a fraction to create their problem. 

I used these flowers as a center activity just before our test on dividing fractions. Even though my students are in 5th grade they still love to color. They also love having their work displayed. 

This was a great way to check for student understanding. A few students needed to go back and make corrections but overall they did really well. 

Would you like a copy of my updated fraction flower? Click the image below.

How do you keep it simple in the classroom? I would love to hear your time saving tips in the comment section below.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Divisibility Rules Freebie!

Whether you are teaching division or fractions your students need to know the divisibility rules. Throughout the the year I stress with my students the importance of number sense.

With the switch to Common Core and the division algorithm being moved to 6th grade I hold off on teaching the divisibility rules until our fraction unit. Simplifying fractions can be a struggle for students. The divisibility rules can help.

 There are three different page 2's in this freebie. It makes it easy to differentiate your lesson based on how much you want your students to write.
This notebook page has the rules and examples provided. I just had the student highlight the key words and examples. For others, I used the page that omitted the examples and had the students come up with their own. Would you like a copy of these pages? You can get it for free here.

Do you use an interactive notebook in your math class? How do you use them to differentiate instruction? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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