Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fractions, Fractions, Fractions!

Hello teacher friends! I feel like I need to take a minute and reintroduce myself. I’m Samantha, the face behind “Field Trips and Paper Clips,” and I have done a terrible job of keeping up with this small blog of mine. But, I’m back and ready to share glimpses of what’s happening and what we’re learning in my classroom. Since my last (and only!) post, I have officially started student teaching in second grade and I LOVE this age so much!

I’m slowing beginning to take over teaching different subjects and I started with math this past week. We dove head first into learning about fractions and I was intentional about taking lots of pictures to document our learning. I utilized several activities from other fabulous and creative teachers so I’m sure you’ll recognize many of these activities from their blogs.

We started out by talking about some of their favorite treats (pizza and pie!) and how we usually divide those into equal parts to share with our friends and family. I built on the idea that we use fractions in every day life and introduced basic vocabulary associated with fractions such as equal, unequal, whole, halves, thirds, and fourths. We read Jump, Kangaroo, Jump! and did a flipchart activity on the ActivBoard to practice using the vocabulary. They loved this! The book introduces the concept of halves, thirds, and fourths by having a group of 12 animals participate in a camp field day. First, they have to divide into two equal teams for a game, then three equal teams, and finally four equal teams. It provides a visual for a tricky concept!


After reading, Jump, Kangaroo, Jump! we created “My Book of Fractions” from Cara Carroll’s Fraction Action unit. I had the the fraction pieces pre-cut and placed in sandwich baggies prior to the lesson. That extra preparation made it so much easier to immediately transition into the activity! I loved creating these booklets because it helped reinforce the vocabulary for my students in a hands-on and visual way.

Fraction book

Fraction Book Cover

On Tuesday, we focused on learning how to label and write fractions. I introduced what the numerator and denominator are and we practiced, practiced, practiced. I used resources from The Teacher Wife’s Fraction Fun unit and my kids loved being able to manipulate the arrows and vocabulary terms to label the fractions.


Labeling Fractions

On Thursday, I introduced fractional parts of set which my students really enjoyed because they could clearly see how we use fractions daily. In order to practice identifying fractional parts of a set I used Cara Carroll’s fabulous idea of doing pizza slice fractions. This activity was too fun! I made four pizzas each with a different number of slices and they had to write the fraction for how many had pepperonis, olives, mushrooms, and black olives. I set the timer for four minutes at each pizza station as they rotated in table groups. I loved seeing them engaged in identifying the fractions. Plus, I was able to use this as a formative assessment to see which students understood and which students needed more practice with fractions.

Pizza Slice Fractions 



We had a very full week in second grade! When we start back on Tuesday, we will spend another week on fractions really practicing and applying our skills. In reading, we will be using Jan Brett’s The Mitten as we jumpstart our winter themed week. There is SO much you can do with The Mitten and I will be back to share all of it with you next weekend!

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