Saturday, February 22, 2014

Topic 16a Time - Google Drive

Obviously, telling time is a super important skill for students to have.
Even with digital clocks being ubiquitous, students need regular exposure to analog clocks. Why? This is just my thoughts (absolutely no research behind this), but students need to grasp that time is a continuous thing. What better to demonstrate this than watching the second hand as it gracefully sweeps around the face.

Digital clocks, on the other hand, give the appearance of that time s a discrete event. When the digital clock says 2:43, that is all it says. With an analog clock, 2:43 simultaneously has the additional meaning that it is 17 minutes until 3.

I just wrote a 3rd Grade unit on time. To be honest, it wasn't until I had to writer this unit that I had given telling time much thought...let alone consider it an important skill for students to learn.

Besides a review of skip counting by 5's, telling time also leads us to solving elapsed time problems. In my unit students use an empty time line to organize their thinking to solve these problems. In the nature of problem solving, I tried not to be overly prescriptive about how students should use the empty time line. This allows students to share multiple solution methods for each problem.

Monday, February 17, 2014

4th Grade Fraction and Decimal Concepts

Common Core Standard
4.NF.5: Express a fraction with denominator 10 as an equivalent fraction with denominator 100, and use this technique to add two fractions with respective denominators 10 and 100.2 For example, express 3/10 as 30/100, and add 3/10 + 4/100 = 34/100.
4.NF.6: Use decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100. For example, rewrite 0.62 as 62/100; describe a length as 0.62 meters; locate 0.62 on a number line diagram.
4.NF.7: Compare two decimals to hundredths by reasoning about their size. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two decimals refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual model.

Download this replacement unit on Fraction and Decimal Concepts:

A thought about fraction and decimal concepts…
If fractions are a bit of a mystery for our 4th graders, then the relationship between fractions and decimals strikes them as entirely arbitrary. Throughout this unit, we will build upon the students’ prior knowledge of fractions and its representations (area model and number line) to show how fractions and decimals are related to one another. The connections are numerous, so it is no wonder that students get confused!

Nearly every lesson is written with multiple representations of decimal fractions. As a result, students will have ample opportunities to compare and contrast fractions with various representations of decimals leading to a deep understanding of how fractions and decimals are related to each other.

5th grade Multiplying and Dividing Fractions

5.NF.4a, 5.NF.4b

In an attempt to write a unit of study that resembles the spirit of Common Core as much as possible, here is a unit on multiplying and dividing fractions for 5th grade.

Some sample images from the unit:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Duane is tweeting something...

from Twitter

February 15, 2014 at 11:46AM


Ignore this...I'm just testing.

Really...just ignore this. I am playing with


I am currently at the coolest training ever! Rather than going to a conference and hearing about 4,000 things, but never having time to actually implement any of them, we are just sitting in rooms and playing with stuff. Now I can actually LEARN something.