Yesterday, I shared with you how the Common Core State Standards have emphasized fractions and number sense. As many of you can relate, this is a much needed area of support for our students. Today, I would like to share a few quick ideas for supporting this need in the classroom or tutoring setting.
Ordering | once students have a clear understanding that numbers can be represented in multiple ways, students should be able to place the numbers in order
Items: Clothes pins, yarn or ribbon
Using clothes pins and ribbon to practice number sense in the classroom.
With a set of clothespins have students work in order. Those who struggle will immediately get overwhelmed, so provide some structure. A few minutes to order the percents. Then, discuss how percents and decimals are different. A few minutes to order the decimals. Then, solicit a conversation on how. Help students to see that they could use reasonableness and equivalent fractions to place the fractions in order
Questions to consider:
- Is it greater or less than one-half?
- Do I see another number it is equivalent to?
Matching | students should be able to recognize that numbers can be written in various forms and still represent the same amount
Items: egg carton or ice cube tray, chips or tokens
Using egg cartons and foam tiles to practice equivalency of numbers.
Label the inside of the tray with fractions and label the tokens with equivalent forms of numbers. You can have sets that are color coded with other fractions, a set with decimals, and a set with percents. Students would work to sort the tokens into the appropriate spot. This is an excellent hands on activity for a station or for intervention tutoring.
Practicing Fluency | once this concept has been introduced and practiced in the classroom, the key to fluency in repetition
I found these mini assessments to be wildly successful in my class. I would begin with the most basic conversions and over time introduce more difficult ones. Students would have one and a half minutes to complete the table. We would quickly trade and check. When a student was able to get 100% mastery on 5 quizzes in a row, we celebrated mastery. I used a sticker chart to track student progress. We did these everyday for several weeks, but I will testify without a doubt that my students knew their equivalent numbers.
Hope these ideas get you thinking and help your students in their number sense. Be looking for a video tutorial in the upcoming week about using number lines with not only ordering but also fraction operations.