Sunday, April 21, 2013

Measure Up

We are starting a unit on measurement. To prime our brains and get us thinking for this unit, we are just working on getting our minds wrapped around the two systems of measurement: customary and metric. And...we are looking at the units we use to measure length, capacity, and mass. Students cut apart the word slips and sort. Use this activity as a preassessment to see what students already know. Use it during your unit of study as a formative assessment piece. You can grab this freebie here if you want to try this Measurement Sort with your students.

Take a look at this YouTube video that helps students to see there is a difference between the meanings of mass and weight. The focus of the video uses metric units. The realization that these two words do not mean the same thing, in reality, sometimes is rather shocking to students.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Order Up! ~ Fraction Math Task

To culminate our study of fractions, students created "pizzas." Each student was given an order for a pizza. Based on their understanding of fractions, they "baked" a pizza made to order. Seeing that the goal of this activity was math related, I did have some of the ingredients and the "pizza dough" ready for students to use so they could focus more on the math aspect of the activity. There are different ways to set up this activity. You know your classroom best.

Now, if you look at the sample orders, you will see some of the orders are more complex. I differentiated the orders based on my students' readiness levels. Students first had to interpret what the order meant before they could actually start making their pizzas. If 2/3 of the pizza has mushrooms and 1/3 has mushrooms and tomatoes, does that mean that only one of the two thirds section also has tomatoes? The questioning was necessary before clarity prevailed for our pizza makers.

After the pizzas were made, students checked each others orders. We realized some "customers" would not be happy unless we fixed their orders. A real world problem for sure :)! Students then completed the Task Questions. The questions address the following I can... statements.

  • I can partition wholes into various amounts to solve a real world problem.
  • I can explain what the numerator and denominator of a fraction represent.
  • I can use models to show and explain equivalent fractions.
  • I can use models to compare fractions.

Students can create their own "personal" pizzas rather than follow a given order. They then can use their own "personal" pizzas to complete the Task Questions. Click on the two images above for your free copies of Pizza Orders and Task Questions.  Bon Appetit!