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Background For Teachers:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Divide Us! Divide Us!
Take your class outside and tell them that we are going to explore dividing us up into parts. When you get them outside explain that what we are going to do requires them to work together well and quickly and that sometimes you will remove a student or two from the group in order to facilitate correctly dividing the group. Begin by asking the students how many there are in the whole class (at this point you have already chosen a number you are going to divide into halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, or eighths, e.g., 24). If you have had to pull any students aside have them help you check for accuracy of the work done by the others. Now ask the students to divide themselves into halves. Make sure the students move far enough apart that the division is clear. Use your white board and marker to have the students help you figure out how many that fraction is equal to after you have divided them (i.e., 1/3 of 24 is 6). Continue to do this using student numbers of a few (6-12) to the entire class, having them continue to divide into halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and eighths. You could extend this activity by asking one fraction of the group to do something such as jump up and down, pat their stomachs, or sit down.
Wood, T., (January 1996). Events in Learning Mathematics: Insight from Research in Classrooms. Educational Studies in Mathematics, Vol. 30 (Number 1), Page 85
The author shows evidence that learning, and therefore teaching, mathematics involves more than efficient calculations; it should emphasize constructing mathematical meaning. This involves, among other things, processes of conflict with previous knowledge leading to the desire to resolve that conflict as children engage in what is referred to as reflective thinking. It is discussed heavily that the classroom environment is a critical factor in creating an atmosphere conducive to students learning.
Kelley, K., (October 2003). Cultivating Classrooms with Heart. Classroom Leadership, Vol. 7 (Number2), Page 1
The need for a classroom that offers students a place to feel accepted and safe is discussed in this article. The author presents examples that support her idea that “...what our students see and remember of us is not what we do, but who we are. Our students will also remember how well we helped them become who they are.” Though the author teaches high school students, the concepts are easily transferred to an elementary setting.
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