**Check them out here: https://www.youcubed.org/resource/posters/**

Some of my favorite open ended sentences to use for my beginning of the year questionnaire are: 1) I learn from teachers best when… 2) I don’t learn from teachers that… 3) In math, I struggle with… 4) Last year in math my grades were… 5) Three things you should know about me are…

Creating a back to school questionnaire for your students should match your personality as a teacher and should be fun for students to complete. Students love to open up about themselves, especially when they don’t have to share in front of their classmates. It’s also fun to read student responses back to them at the end of the school year so they can hear how they have changed!

]]>He recently posted about students using multiple methods to solve (computation) problems. Much like a related post we published about turning strategies into “algorithms,” his post talks about the do’s and don’ts of having students solve with multiple methods.

His transportation analogy really helps to clear this topic up. For example, we should have multiple methods of solving strategies just as we have multiple methods of transportation, i.e. a bike, a car, a bus, and walking. We should know which is best to use and when, based on the situation. (I may walk or bike to school, but I’m not going to bike to Disney World!) And students shouldn’t be asked to solve the same problem in multiple ways if they have already determined a method that works for them. (Unless they may be comparing strategies to look for efficiency)

Check out his post, and visit the Common Core Tools site.

]]>Teaching division of fractions can be more meaningful to students when models are used before using an algorithm. Students need to be taught this concept using their previous understanding of multiplication and division. What does division mean? It tells you how many groups of a quantity there are in a whole amount. So phrasing these problems into those terms will help students conceptualize what they are doing with the fractions.

The following link provides a great description of how to teach division of fractions by having students draw and analyze a model of the problem.

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/solsearch/sol/math/6/mess_6-4_6-6ab_1.pdf

Fraction strips can also be used to help students conceptualize what is happening numerically when you are dividing fractions. Check out this video from PBS: https://florida.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/mgbh.math.nf.divofrac/division-of-fractions-using-fraction-strips/#.WXpNVojyuM8

References:

Virginia Department of Education(2011). *Modeling Division of Fractions.* Retrieved from Virginia DOE website http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/solsearch/sol/math/6/mess_6-4_6-6ab_1.pdf

PBS Learning Media(2017). *Division of Fractions: Using Fraction Strips.* Retrieved from PBS & WGBH Educational Foundation websitehttps://florida.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/mgbh.math.nf.divofrac/division-of-fractions-using-fraction-strips/#.WXpPLYjyuM9

“Number Shoppers”….we’ve all encountered them: students who just plow through a story problem, pulling numbers out as if they were just grabbing their favorite snacks off the shelf and tossing them into a shopping cart; no regard for the value of the numbers and what the represent, or the action taking place in the problem. Sometimes, it seems like there isn’t even any thinking going on!

On his blog “Teaching to the Beat of Different Drummer“, Brian Bushart suggests *numberless word problems* as an instructional strategy to help remedy this common challenge that plagues math classrooms. He states, “In essence, numberless word problems are designed to provide scaffolding that allows students the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the underlying structure of word problems.” Numberless word problems, combined with teacher facilitated questioning, are word problems that get kids thinking before they ever have numbers or a question to act on.

Inspiration for the problem can be drawn from an already existing problem in a textbook or other resource. Then, the numbers are removed and the problem is stripped down; the problem is scaffolded by sharing additional information with students, piece by piece. The power of a numberless word problem lies in the conversation students have as each new piece of information is shared. That conversation is driven by the planned questions asked by the teacher as more and more information is revealed.

Here is one example that Bushart shares:

Inspiration:

Scaffolded Problems:

Planned Questions:

Read more at Bushart’s blog page “numberless word problems“, which includes posts on how to get started on using the problems in your classroom, tips for writing numberless problems, and a bank of numberless word problems ready to be tried out with your kiddos!

You can follow Bushart on his blog and @bstockus on Twitter. He also co-moderates the Twitter chat #ElemMathChat on Thursdays at 8pm CST.

]]>…there is a CAP for that!

View the “Train the Trainer” video on “Relating Fractions to Decimals” below to ensure that your instruction has truly met the depth of the 4th grade MAFS standards. Yes, these trainings were written for the benefit of parents, but the anticipated misconceptions and instructional strategies will be useful when planning to review critical areas at the end of 4th grade to prepare students for 5th.

Follow the steps below to access the 4th grade “Relating Fractions to Decimals CAP (Connecting Academics & Parents)” training materials, including the powerpoint and ancillary resources.

• Step 1: Log into your ideas account.

• Step 2: Go to the Elementary Mathematics Icon.

• Step 3: Click on the “CAP Connecting Academics and Parents” icon.

• Step 4: Click on “Grade 4 CAP Math Parent Workshops”.

• Step 5: Click on 4th CAP “Relating Fractions and Decimals”.

• Step 6: From there, explore the folder to access all the resources you would need to implement the training, including the powerpoint.

At http://www.insidemathematics.org/common-core-resources/mathematical-practice-standards , Inside Mathematics sheds some light on the SMPs with video clips of individual examples of each of the practice standards in classroom lessons across a variety of grade levels.

Since it is also important to keep in mind that the practices can, and should, be evident together in a lesson, there are also video clips of “Mentors of Mathematical Practice” at http://www.insidemathematics.org/common-core-resources/mentors-of-mathematical-practice that offer a view of teachers who commonly engage their students in multiple practices simultaneously.

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…there is a CAP for that!

View the “Train the Trainer” video on “Equivalent Fractions” below to ensure that your instruction has truly met the depth of the 4th grade MAFS standards. Yes, these trainings were written for the benefit of parents, but many of the suggestions will be useful when planning to review critical areas at the end of 4th grade to prepare students for 5th.

Follow the steps below to access the 4th grade “Equivalent Fractions CAP (Connecting Academics & Parents)” training materials, including the powerpoint and ancillary resources.

• Step 1: Log into your ideas account.

• Step 2: Go to the Elementary Mathematics Icon.

• Step 3: Click on the “CAP Connecting Academics and Parents” icon.

• Step 4: Click on “Grade 4 CAP Math Parent Workshops”.

• Step 5: Click on 4th CAP “Equivalent Fractions”.

• Step 6: From there, explore the folder to access all the resources you would need to implement the training, including the powerpoint.