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Background For Teachers:
Provide each group of four to five students with a single licorice rope. Ask them to share this one licorice rope with the group “equally.” Don’t allow them to eat the shares until you have a chance to talk as a class. This activity will only take a few minutes. Children share everyday, all day long, so they will jump right in and get busy sharing. Travel among the groups and listen for snippets or phrases being said during the sharing. Pull the class together and share things you heard and go right into a discussion of “sharing equally.” Depending on the responses and your assessment of understanding you might need to “share” more objects on the overhead with the class. Then share the traditional fraction model. Discussing and clarifying as needed. Let them eat!
Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Home Fraction Hunt:
Zull, J.E. (2004). The art of changing the brain. Educational leadership. September 2004
This article explores the fact that learning should feel good. When a student is experiencing, exploring, developing connections, and learning then positive emotions are generated. This biochemical reward of learning is not provided by explanations from the teacher, but by the student developing their own idea and ownership of those ideas. It goes on to discuss that the way we feel always influences our brain and strengthens growth and wiring. The article shares some best practices for teachers to optimize learning in the classroom.
De Geest, E., & Watson, A., (2004). Instilling Thinking. Mathematics Teaching. June 2004.
This article shares research done to identify and develop ways of stimulate mathematical thinking. It explores the common practice of giving students in the lowest achieving group repetitive, simplified mathematics. When studies show that more good is done helping learners develop thinking skills and understanding throughout every level of mathematics lessons. This with a teachers high expectations help a student’s self-awareness that they are learning and progressing. Students showed significant gains in self-esteem and their ability and willingness to engage with extended, unfamiliar, and complex tasks.
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