Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dun Dun Dunnnn. Fractions. *Freebie!

Today was exactly 18,000 times better than yesterday.

I didn't post yesterday
cause I didn't want to sound bitter
and anything at all I could've written yesterday
would have been bitter.

But today was a GREAT day,
despite two office referrals for hitting other kids on the bus.
(Not me. My kids)

This is what we did today that went so well.
We've been working on author's purpose using my Author's Purpose Pack.
Today, during Reader's Workshop, we reviewed the four author's purposes we've been working with
*to explain how
*to inform
*to persuade
*to entertain.

I put kids into partners and we set up a tree map with the four headings.

Then I gave them a sheet from my pack that had a short text from each of these four purposes. The topic was the same (birds) but there was a story about birds, a procedural on how to take care of birds, an informative piece about birds, and a persuasive piece convincing you to buy a bird.

I read each piece out loud and had the kids talk to their partners about what evidence they could find to support the author's purpose.
We sorted.
We checked.
We did well!

Grab this as part of my Author's Purpose Pack from TPT or Teacher's Notebook.
Incidentally, it would also make a pretty great foldable. I didn't think of that till just now. Oh well.

So for partner practice, I had them practice the same skill with other pieces; these were about snowmen (how to make a snowman, information about snowmen, a story about a snowman, and a persuasive about building a snowman.

I was so relieved- as I listened to the conversations kids had with their buddies, I was finally able to find evidence of my teaching.

I heard things like
Well, the author's not asking the reader to DO anything, so it's not to persuade.
I see a character, so I think it's an entertaining story.
Oh! These are steps on how to take care of a bird, so it's to explain how.

I almost cried.

But then, later in math, I almost cried for a different reason.

This standard is introduced before third grade, but when we started working with fractions on Monday, (most of) my kids stared at me like I was speaking Greek.
Or Math, which I have found is a new language to them as well.

So I needed them to get some basic practice with identifying fractions and using equal parts in one whole to identify denominators.
So I spent some time putting together a fractions foldable for them to sort and identify fractional parts of wholes. This is what it looked like.

So, some of us are pretty good at fractions.
Some of us were writing some pretty weird stuff in this foldable, despite the modeling.
So we're going to spend tomorrow in two groups - I kinda know what's goin on
and I kinda don't.

I'll let you know how it goes.

In case you're interested (purpose: to persuade) I am posting my Furry Friends Fractions Pack, which includes instructions and pieces to cut out for the giant fractions foldable above. It's a big one - 46 pages of fractiony goodness.
Grab it at TPT or Teacher's Notebook.

And here's a rectangle fractions freebie for you.
Grab it at TPT.
Clipart from GingerSnaps Treats for Teachers and KPM Doodles
Fonts from Kevin & Amanda

Happy Fractioning!


  1. that is a cute pack! I'm gonna have to checkit out! :)

  2. Cute fraction stuff!

    Fractions usually make me cringe. But I've seen cute ideas, like fraction ice cream sundaes (1/4 is chocolate, 2/4 is vanilla) and the kids make the sundaes with paper.

    I've seen fraction pizzas with toppings on paper plates and 1/2 gone so they write 1/2 on the empty part of the plate.

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  3. Very cool. I love your ideas. I have a fraction exercise
    On my blog that might be helpful.

  4. Awesome! Thank you for sharing!

    Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher

  5. You crack me up!!!!
    I want to cry when my kids lose their math language. They had it but then they lose it for inexplicable reasons.
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Love the idea of the foldable fractions sheets! Thanks for sharing :D I'm the newest follower of your blog, a student teacher starting my first practicum next month! I would love it if you could visit my site and follow me back :D


  8. Oh, I LOVE when I hear my students actually talking in ways that show me they've been listening! I bet that made you feel amazing.

    The fractions foldable is fantastic. Thanks for the idea!

  9. I'm a third grade teacher too! Thanks for sharing : ) I totally know exactly how you feel.

  10. Just a thought - my students get confused about how BIG fractions are. They think that the bigger the denominator, the bigger the piece it represents. Shouldn't your flipbook go in the reverse order that it's shown so that you can start to get them to see that 1/2 is bigger than 1/4 (and maybe even use kid reasoning by saying, "see, it's on a bigger piece of paper in our flipbook")?

    I may not be seeing it right, though.

  11. Definitely going to use this for my fifth graders who haven't quite grasped the concept of fractions yet!

    I started a teaching/fashion blog! Check it out!

  12. Is your rectangle fractions freebie still on TPT? It looks like a great activity but I couldn't find it. BTW I love the "Furry Friends Fractions" and so do the kids. Thanks!!