Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fractions and Laundry

Today I had to teach ordering fractions.  So yesterday after school I'm sitting at my desk am I going to teach this lesson when it is usually difficult for third graders??? 
Here is what I came up with. Laundry and a clothesline!  No really...  First, I got some clothing pieces.  I found these free on TPT.  I made three "clothespins" (out of my magnet men), so I had to make my laundry fractions in three pieces.  I wrote fractions on each piece of clothing. I color coded them so that I could keep track easier.
When I was ready to teach the lesson, I told the kids we were going to do laundry.  They looked at me like I was goofy (what else is new, right???).  They said, "But our I Can says we are ordering fractions."  What well trained students...they even looked at the I Can statements before we started math for the day!
Okay, back to my lesson.  I passed out clothing to each student.  Then I called them by the color code.  So I said all the purple fractions stand up.  They told me what fraction they had and I wrote it on the board.  The entire class had to work with partners and fraction strips to make each fraction to put them in order from greatest to least.
Once I saw that every partner group had the fractions lined up, I called the color group to the board.  They had to clip the clothes to the clothesline in order from greatest to least.  
Sorry...I had to smash the clothesline together to fit into the picture!

The class had to either give them a thumbs up or they had to say, "Shuffle those clothes!"  O...M...G...we had so much fun!

As we progressed I made sure there were fractions that they didn't have fraction strips to use.  We reviewed how they could solve these problems by looking at the denominators/numerator and they were on their way.

Then we used a fun resource I found on TPT from More Time 2 Teach.  It was called "Ordering Fractions:  A Little Birdie Taught Me..."

They had to work again with their partner to put the fractions in order.  Didn't they turn out cute?  This was one of those lesson when I wish the principal was in for an evaluation! They were disappointed when I told them we were done for today!  And we were all giggling how they were going to go home today and tell their parents "Shuffle those clothes!"  Heehee  :)


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