Friday, January 20, 2017

Wizards Math Update and Our New Desks

Fifth grade students have begun the Fraction unit. We have been working on comparing and ordering fractions using various strategies including using benchmark numbers 0, 1/2 and 1, unit fractions, common numerators, common denominators and equivalent fractions. Students will use their knowledge of equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions with like and unlike denominators. They will apply their previous understandings of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions or a whole number by a fraction. Students will also be solving real world problems involving fractions and mixed numbers.

Please continue to have students practice their multiplication fact fluency at home. Automaticity of these facts is very helpful with fractions, for example,  finding common denominators, simplifying fractions and multiplying and dividing fractions.

In sixth grade math, students have been operating with fractions.  We began with a quick review of adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.  More recently, we have been using area and linear models to support conceptual understanding of multiplying fractions.  Our big learning will be begin next week as we begin our work with dividing fractions.

In other Wizard news, we received a grant of $1500 to buy 6 stand-up desks for our team. Students are very excited to use them. Research shows that stand-up desks can boost student learning and have positive physical benefits and enhance classroom culture by allowing more student choice in seating. The stand-up desks will be a wonderful addition to our classrooms.