I have an observation teaching interview tomorrow morning. I get to teach language arts for 45 minutes, and then math for 45 minutes. Only 8 kids, all girls, fifth and sixth grade mixed ability. They are working on fractions in math. Those are my only pieces of information. Any ideas for a fraction lesson? I want it to be hands-on, inquiry based. I have no idea what they already know, or what they don't. I do know one girl can be a bit slow at grasping concepts, and one girl is already doing 7th grade algebra, so I have all different learning levels. This is a bad night to be working on this-I got the call about 2 hours ago, and I'm leaving in an hour to go to dh's work even all night in the city. I'm panicking a bit-any math teachers who can help me out??

Maybe you could do a lesson with the different ways you could split a regular-size Hershey bar? Maybe for the higher kids they could explore something with adding fractions with different denominators, and the students who need more help would be able to add like denominators or divide the bar. You could use real ones or brown construction paper rectangles. I have no idea what fourth graders normally do with fractions, as I teach first, but good luck!

Fifth and sixth graders are usually adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing mixed numbers with different denominators at least that's what I taught at the end of the year when I taught fifth grade. Let me think a bit...

Maybe you can use fraction strips. Ok, you just got the call 2 hours ago and you are expected to teach these full lessons by tomorrow morning?:wow:That would stress me out and seems unfair. Good luck to you!

See what manips you can get... Fraction strips/Fraction Circles/Pattern blocks will all allow you to use the manips hands on. A fun game I played with the kids was fraction wars - I put up a fraction, they had to come up with as many equivalent fractions as possible. If they are doing operations with the fractions, you could put two up, they have to come up with two more, and add/multiply/etc. Another fun one is Candy Math - get a bunch of jellybean/smarties, etc and use them to make ratios or fractions. Best of luck!

These are great ideas, but I'm working with middle school kids. I want a really deep lesson. My brain is much, though-fractions aren't my favorite subject to begin with, and I have no idea where they are with it all. I'll post when I find something.

How about this: Get several bags of snack foods (Cookies, Pretzels, Chips, Cereal, etc). Pair them up and without letting them read the package, have them put what they would consider a serving on a plate. Define it as "what you would consider a normal portion for a snack." Then they read the packages and find out what a "serving size" is. It might be "2 cookies," "2/3 cup," or "3 ounces," etc. Have them compare their normal serving to the serving size on the package (by weighing or counting). Then have them figure out the ratio (2:1, for example, if they thought four cookies was an appropriate snack). Then have them use the ratio to calculate the calories, fat, transfat, sodium, sugar, etc. in the "normal" serving size vs. the package nutrition label. End by discussing how EVERYTHING on a food package is marketing, including the nutrition label. Sometimes the serving size is determined by trying to stay under a certain number of calories or fat grams rather than realistically what someone would eat. If you have time, and if the results are sufficiently surprising, they could write a letter to the mfr. letting them know what they've learned.

Oh, that is so good, Shelly. I'm going to bring along some materials for that in case I end early. Gooood thinking. I finally settled on a lesson that involves dividing fractions. We'll start with paper popsicles (dh cut them out and I was instantly reminded of why I fired him from all classroom cutting projects...). Each student will get one popsicle with two sticks-10 total popsicles (small class). Then we'll divide them by 1/2, which gives us 20 popsicles. We'll write the algorithm on the board, and talk about how when dividing by fractions, you get a larger number. We'll practice again with real Hershey bars. Once I see the kids have a grasp on the concept, we'll move on to story problems and drawing. We're going to take a piece of paper and fold it into fourths so we can draw our problems in each section. One story problem involves a girl who has 3 and 5/8 yards of fabric, and she wants to make curtains that are 1/2 a yard of fabric each. How do we work this problem out? Draw out 3 and 5/8 years of fabric and 'divide' them into 1/2 sections. The answer is 7 and 1/8 curtains, which they can visually see. The advanced girl can move on to harder problems, and I can work with one of the slower girls if I need to. We'll see. Observation lessons are tricky, but I think this is pretty solid.

Since you're doing dividing fractions, if you need another "quick" idea--I always get students to do 2 divided by 1/5. You get an answer of 10, and then I show them how that works with my hands. I hold my hands with my fingers tight, to say here are 2 hands. Now let's divide by 2 hands by 1/5, then I open my fingers, and the answer is 10. The kids usually remember it.

Wow! I was just about to put down another idea, and realized that you probably had the lesson already. I hope everything went well.

It went well! The kids picked up on the concept quite quickly. If they were my class, we would go over how to write a story problem in depth, but for the purpose of the lesson, they did great. I should hear Monday or Tuesday-I'll let you guys know!