Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fractions, Formative Assessment, and a Freebie!

These last few weeks have been a complete mess!  We NEVER have snow days in south Louisiana, but we are now on number three and I'm thinking we may have a fourth.  I can only imagine the frustration all of you teachers from the North are feeling right about now.  I am so behind on my plans, and I am slightly stressing out thinking about much math I am going to have to throw at my kiddos.  I hope they are holding on because I am about to kick 2014 into super speed mode...

Before the snow day break we began a unit on fractions.  I love to kick off my math units with literature, and I found the cutest book.  My Half Day is a rhyming book and my students loved this silly story.  I asked my kiddos to put their thumbs up when they heard a fraction "jackpot" word, which was a great informal assessment tool to help me get a sense of what my students already knew about fractions.

After diving into the unit and allowing my students to explore the concept of fractions having equal parts, my kiddos worked together to create these interactive anchor charts. They traced multiple items around the room , cut out the shapes, and folded their shapes into different fractional pieces.  Here you can see halves, thirds, fourths, and fifths.  Clearly, my friends had more trouble dividing shapes into thirds and fifths.  I used this as a teachable moment to discuss why this may have been more difficult than halves or fourths.  The students also created charts for sixths, eights, tenths, and twelfths. 

To wrap up the lesson, my students completed an activity sheet for independent practice and then completed a very familiar formative assessment technique....

Parking Lot

This is of my go-to formative assessment strategies.  First and foremost, students get a CHOICE on which category they would like to complete.  Teachers, you know how important choice in the classroom has become these days :)  Secondly, my kiddos can express their opinion about the lesson so I know if it appealed to their interests, was confusing, was a success, or maybe it was one of those lessons that never needs to be initiated again!  My favorite part of the Parking Lot is the question category.  This is where students can post a sticky note creating a question  about the content presented in today's lesson.  I use these specific stickies to ask the class the student created questions.  THEY LOVE THIS!  Questions can also be asked the following day as a review of previously taught content.  Y' easy, and so fun.  Grab some chart paper, some sticky notes, and some markers and you are good to go!

Ok, I know I am getting lengthy here, but in honor of my Broncos and my Manning boy in the Super Bowl, I have created a little fraction freebie.  Sorry Seattle fans, the product is ALL navy and orange :)  Click the link below to grab yours, free!  Oh, and check back after the super bowl because if
Peyton wins, EVERYTHING in my store will be 18% off!


  1. Girl… I feel your pain! In Alabama we are currently on snow day #3 of this week. It has been crazy!

    I LOVE the fraction ideas and am going to have to use some of them in my 3rd grade classroom!

    Ms. Smith
    Adventures of Ms. Smith

  2. It says you do not have "follow by e-mail" enabled. I was trying to follow you that way.