Fun with Fractions Pennants: Guest Blog Post

Fraction Pennants for adding subtracting multiplying dividing comparing and converting fractions

It was very exciting to have been asked by Gina Wilson of All Things Algebra to write about my fractions pennants for the Kid Courses blog. If you'd like to read my post, you can check it out here: Fractions Pennants for Math!  (But read on below first for a special time-sensitive offer:)

Fractions are one of those topics in math that just keep coming back around. In Algebra 2 we're currently in our rational functions unit, ie: "fractions with variables". We start the unit by reviewing fraction addition without any variables, which ends up being one of the harder parts of the unit for some kids. Students need a lot of practice with fractions, but because practice can get so boring, some kids tune it out then always struggle. With all of my math pennants I aim to make this super important practice fun so that kids are practicing without it feeling like practice. 

Fractions through Pictures ebook

In one of my graduate school classes, we had to write papers on why we add, subtract multiply and divide fractions the way we do. My professor wasn't big on grades, just "good" and "redo". I got a lot of "redos" that drove me crazy! But I have to say, all that writing and rewriting helped me really understand these algorithms. You can read what I learned in the ebook Fractions through Pictures.

Adding Fractions Pennant

So now for the special offer. Starting soon, some math friends and I are going to be starting up our 2nd annual Secondary Math Dollar Deals. (That link there will give you an idea of some of the resources we put on sale last summer.)  To celebrate my guest post, and to unofficially kick off our summer dollar deals, this adding fractions pennant will be on sale for just $1 this week. Then stay tuned for when dollar deals kicks off for real. Oh! One more thing. What topics would you like to see put on sale? Let us know in the comments below!

Integer Operations with a Flexible Number Line

Integer operations manipulative for adding and subtracting negative numbers

It really doesn't seem to matter whether a student is in 7th grade or in 12th grade, integer operations are always tricky. When I taught Algebra 2 in Boston, working with negative integers was a major sticking point when we'd be solving equations. Students would get all the way to the end of a difficult equation... and this would happen:

Geometry Quick Check

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Now that testing is finally over and we are in the final throws of the school year, what sorts of activities do you do to keep kids engaged? In my last post, teachers offered their tips with links to some of the resources they use. There were a lot of projects, including an amazing link to free NASA activities!

Keeping Students Engaged at the End of the School Year - ideas from teachers

Now that we're in the final descent to summer, how do we keep students engaged while also keeping our sanity? I asked this question over on Facebook and got some great answers from teachers! The're listed below, along with any resources the teachers mentioned working well. Projects were mentioned a lot along with topics that may not be captured in the standards but are engaging, fun and worth learning. What things do you do at the end of the year? What would you add to this list?

“I have been using Kahoot! and more recently Quizizz. These games can be used for teaching new things or as a review/assessment. It changes it up - you can use four laptops as a station, or have whole class instruction, once or twice a week. It gives students something to look forward to. 

Quizizz sends a report each time to your email and you can send it to parents. I just got an email on how my classes fared against another school in the district on an activity. I thought that was cool. Students competing against each other with incentives keeps them focused. It’s not always perfect, but my stress level has gone down.”  --Teacher Tim LeMere