Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: January 2018

Fun with Fractions: Activities to Teach Fraction

Activities, apps, games and centers to help teach and practice fractions

When it comes to learning new math concepts, fractions can be difficult for some elementary students to grasp. However, making fractions relevant and entertaining so your students can connect to real life will help them master the standards and objectives you are trying to reach. 

Having fun with fractions is achievable with these activities to teach fraction in your elementary classroom.

Fraction Interactive Notebooks

I love using interactive notebooks in math! They include activities that hit on all of the major skills that I want my students to learn: identifying fractions, fraction number lines, equivalent fractions, comparing fractions, etc.

But the neat part is that students barely notice they are doing work because they are using scissors and glue. It's a sneaky teacher trick. Don't tell! (P.S. I keep the cuts simple so that students don't take long cutting!)

Fractions Interactive Notebook

The best part about the interactive notebook is that students will have a resource to look back at throughout the unit and the year. That's priceless!

Click HERE to see more of this interactive notebook.

Fraction Find Someone Who **FREEBIE**

I love using this activity because it gets kids up and moving! They are solving fraction problems, but getting to talk to their friends at the same time. It's hit for sure.

Free Fractions Activity

Students walk around the room and find a different classmate to solve each of the problems on their sheet.

Would you like a FREE copy of this activity? Click HERE to download it!

Count the Candies

Break out the M&Ms or Skittles! Have your students take a handful of sweet multi-colored candies (no eating allowed until the activity is finished). They’ll sort the candies by color then record the amount of each color (part) to the total amount of candies (whole) to determine the fraction for each. When they’re finished, they’ll have a sweet treat. 

This could also be used with colored marshmallows, cereal or non-food alternatives like small stickers or erasers. (I have now given you a very good reason to collect the Target Dollar Spot erasers! I hope your spouse doesn't hate me!)

Roll a Fraction

Use dice to rock and “roll” with fractions. I love this activity because my students feel like they’re playing a game, but they’re actually learning about fractions. Plus, they are no prep! All you need are a couple dice. I keep them in page protectors in a binder and pull them out anytime a student needs a little extra help.
Fraction Games

There are eight different activities that cover a variety of fraction skills.

In one of the games, students will roll a die and tally how many times they get a number. Once all the numbers (1-6) have been rolled at least once, students will count the tally marks and record the fraction each number was rolled or not rolled.

In another one of the activities, students are rolling dice to make a fraction and then plot the fraction on a number lines.

Click HERE to see more of these dice activities.

Student Fraction Sort

This activity not only helps students learn more about fractions, it also helps your kids to learn more about each other. 

Start with a list of questions to ask your class. “What is your favorite sport?” or “How many siblings do you have?” Have students record the results with the part (numerator) being the number for each category and the whole (denominator) always being the number of students in the class surveyed. If you want to change up the denominator, put your students in small groups.

Digital Manipulatives

I think that it is essential to use manipulatives when teaching fractions. Sometime I use candies and erasers. Other times I like to use manipulatives like these:

We use the physical manipulatives in small groups, but it's a pain to pass sets out to each individual student. Plus, it can get pricey.

So, I like to use on-line digital manipulatives! Students can manipulate and move the pieces right from their iPad. They love technology. I love fractions. Now we are both happy.

Plus, you can share this free app with parents so that students can use the manipulatives when doing homework!

Click HERE to grab the app.

Fraction Madness

It's basketball season!

Do you have any students who are sports fans? Do you have any students who would prefer to get out of their seats and play rather than completing a worksheet? If so, you are going to love Fraction Madness!

Basketball Fractions Activities

This resource includes six different basketball themed activities.

My students loved shooting free throws and then calculating the fraction that they scored and the fraction that they missed!

Lots of the activities are ideal for centers or a guided math group.

Click HERE to learn more about Fraction Madness.

Fraction Read Aloud Books

Books aren't just for reading class! I love to incorporate read alouds into my math lessons from time to time. It's just fun!

There are several great books that include fractions. Here are some of my favorites. If you click on the book picture, it will bring you to Amazon where you can read more about the book.

Fraction Centers

Once I have taught all of the fraction lessons, I like to have students continue to practice these skills during their math centers. You can read more about how I organize and run my math centers by clicking HERE.

Fractions Math Centers

I like math centers that include choice and engagement. I put out ten centers and let my students complete them in any order that they choose. The activities are fun and include dice, coloring, matching, sorting, task cards, etc. My students love them.

I have these centers for multiple grade levels:
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Activities, apps, games and centers to help teach and practice fractions

Learning about fractions doesn’t have to happen with lectures in a teacher-centered classroom. Get your kids learning with fun games, centers and hands-on activities. 

Have a Not So Wimpy day!

President's Day Activities for the Classroom

Fun activities where students can learn more about our country's presidents!

President’s Day is just around the corner and although the perfect President’s Day is a 3-day weekend, it can still be fun at school, too! 

What can you do to make President’s Day one your students won’t forget?

Talk to a President

In the age of easy communication, take time to contact a president.  President Jimmy Carter only responds to snail mail, but President Trump has Twitter as does George W. and Obama.  Ask questions about their causes, what their favorite memories are, why they wanted to be president.  Have students write letters or tweets to distribute to their favorite presidents or even their kids like Jenna Bush Hager or Chelsea Clinton, but only after your approval! J  

Have students bring in responses if they get them or even contact other state politicians and presidential hopefuls for the full government experience.

Interactive Notebooks

It's so easy to integrate reading and social studies while learning about the presidents. I love getting the scissors, glue and crayons out to make it even more engaging. Interactive notebook passages and activities are perfect! 

President's Day Interactive Notebook

We are practicing important informational text strategies, writing facts and learning about history. But students think they are just doing crafts. Sneaky!

Click HERE to check out this notebook.

Game On!

Are you all about using the iPad for games and learning?   Lizard Point  lets students practice putting presidents in order. Students can practice identifying the pics of the presidents at Primary Games. If you get them right, a piece of trivia pops up about them before moving on to the next president.

Show and Tell

You’re never too old for a good game of Show and Tell.  Take it up a notch by having each student find an interesting piece of information about a president and bring in something that represents it. Have everyone tells about their president.  

Think a stuffed buffalo for Grover Cleveland who got his start in Buffalo and was even nicknamed The Beast of Buffalo or a newspaper for Warren Harding since that was his first job or a wand for Van Buren because he was known as a “magician.”

FREE Show and Tell President's Day Activity

You can even set the artifacts and the written fact on desks and have the class next door take a tour. You made your own presidential museum! 

Click HERE to grab a free letter explaining the assignment to students and families and a fact sheet for students to complete.

Lego Monuments

After learning about Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln, your students will have a blast building their monuments with Legos! I split my students into 4-6 groups and give each group a bucket of Legos (borrowed from my own children). I would display a picture of one monument and give students 20-30 minutes to work together and build a replica with Legos. 

Lego President's Day Activity

You can do another monument the next day! Or even the White House. It's perfect for indoor recess or for the last 20 minutes of class.

Be sure to take pictures!

Fun activities where students can learn more about our country's presidents!

President’s Day won’t be old hat (an Abe Lincoln tall one at that) with these fun ideas!

Have a Not So Wimpy day!