Today, as I scrolled through last evening’s #mathchat about fractions, I remembered a lesson I tried last year about equivalent fractions. I think it went very well because the students liked the challenge, they enjoyed working collaboratively and they dealt with the big ideas of equivalent fractions in a real-life way.
I set up the lesson on the SMART Board and I used an idea from the guys at ‘Teaching with SMARTBoard‘ website. Scott Miller and David Sladkey work in Naperville, Illinois where they teach high school math as well as create visual podcasts on how to use SMART Boards. I subscribed to their podcasts through iTunes so that every time they produce a new podcast my iTunes will automatically download it for me. If you don’t use iTunes you can also view the podcasts through Teacher Tube.
I watched episode 6 where they talked about a burnt lesson plan and how to use this template with students. They shared an algebra example as well as a suggestion for recipe comparisons. I immediately saw how I could use their idea for an equivalent fraction activity. I followed their instructions and created the ‘burned look’ in a Notebook file. I added a few more slides to round out the lesson and then I finished off with another question using equivalent fractions. Have a look here:
If this had been my own class I would’ve tried to cook at school if the facilities were available. Another option, after the math exploration was complete, students could prepare the ingredients at school and then take the batter home to cook. I don’t think students bake at home as often as I did as a child and I would offer this experience to my students. I don’t think it would be a lesson that they would forget – yum!