Hey everyone, looking for some help. I had an in person interview for a New York City Charter School and they welcomed me back for a demo lesson. They said to teach anything related to fractions (not too hard, not too easy). I went in a second time to observe the class I would be teaching and behaviorally they are a tough group. There are about 25 of them and They have had inconsistent teachers since before January and need a lot of structure and I know that's what the panel observing me are looking for most. That I can handle them. Right now I want to teach adding fractions with unlike denominators because I feel most comfortable with it, however I am open to suggestions. I was thinking about going over the rules to doing so, working through problems myself and then at the end doing a word problem to solve all together. Then for their own work time, have them do a partner game. This is where I am torn. Basically each partner duo would get a set of index cards set up like a deck of cards, and they would pick one each and add the fractions that they pick. So if partner one picks 1/2 and partner two picks 5/6 they would both find the answer independently and compare their answers with their partner when they had solved it. Then they would do another one and so on. I thought it would be engaging and fun, and give them a chance to assess how well they understand the objective by working with a partner. Those who are not behaving appropriately would get a worksheet instead that I will provide with problems to work independently on. I am extremely nervous that a game is a bad idea because the students right now are pretty much running the classroom. There is no order.:unsure: I don't know if I should just be simple and strict. At the same time, I want to show I am a creative teacher. Any thoughts? Or any ideas what I can teach that would be good for this bunch of students?

With the common core standards, I would move beyond the teach the rules for adding fractions. The goal is to help the students learn the why behind fractions through word problems and manipulatives/pictures.

thanks Thanks for the feedback. I recognize this especially as a visual learner myself. To clarify I will start the lesson by introducing fraction bars and solving problems using these. Then I will introduce the standard rules. Students all learn differently and while common core states visual representation, I think it's impossible to not include the rules. Using story problems is a good idea, maybe I will model one right before students start the game. more importantly, is doing a game even a good idea for these students? Or is it a opportunity to let my behavior management abilities shine?

You may want to just spend this lesson on the visual representation. On lesson two or three, then you might have the students develop the rules for adding fractions. This is the direction that common core is moving to. If you think you can pull it off, then I'd say go for it. But a game can lead to a very tricky situation especially if you don't know the student's names. Instead of small group games, maybe you want to try a whole group game. You could keep the basic premise of your game with all students solving independently and then two partners checking work. Maybe have a bonus question for students to solve while they are waiting for other groups to report in. Bonus questions could be leading questions that would help students be able to develop the rules for adding fractions or they could involve terminology questions.

Have the students had any experience adding fractions with unlike denominators? This is one of the hardest concept for my fifth graders and definitely not something I can teach in one lesson. I would have the students use fraction bars for the whole lesson and have them practice making equivalent fractions to find the common denominator.

I was recommended I teach this common core standard by the other 5th grade teacher. I observed the class I will be teaching and apparently they are doing multiplication of fractions right now so this should be review. The woman who handles curriculum instruction told me to cover anything related to fractions.

You want to teach something that your comfortable with but also you want the students to be engaged. You said they are a tough bunch behaviorally. If you teach something that is review and too easy for them you are likely to loose them quickly. Dan Meyers has some videos. These are good to draw students who are tough, into a mathematical conversation. Here is a link to one that may or may not be useful. In the video he is taking a fixed amount of Coke from a glass and mixing it into a glass of Spite. Then he taks the same quantity from the Sprite glass and mixes it into the Coke glass. The question that comes to mind is "is there more Coke in the Sprite glass or is there more Sprite in the Coke glass. You can have them take guesses and then move into a dicussion about fractions to explain the anwser. http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?p=9553 Here is one explanation Assuming that the two sodas mix perfectly well together, both glasses should end up (on average) with the same amount of their original soda. To justify, take a simplified example. 100 ml of sprite. 100 ml of coke. Transfer 10 ml of sprite into the coke glass. Mix. So now 10/110 = 9.09% is sprite, the remaining 100/110 = 91.81% is coke. Taking 10 ml from this glass back into the coke. 9.1% of this 10 ml should be sprite, and 90.9% should be coke. So final totals would be 90 ml sprite + 9.1% of 10 ml = 90.091 ml and 100 ml coke – 90.9% of 10ml = 90.091 ml