Here in 5th grade we are working with fractions (yay!). Many of our students still lack a foundational understanding of fractions, so that is where we started. We gave students a TON of opportunities to work with maniuplatives, use fraction tiles, and make discoveries and connections.
A few weeks ago we were working on making equivalent fractions. In order to ensure that students had a solid foundation, we did not introduce the "math way" yet. Students were working with maniuplatives and drawings in order to internalize the meaning of equivalent fractions.
During his work in the Explore zone, one student made an important discovery. I'll let him speak for himself:
This led to a great conversation about the "math way" and co-constructing the algorithm for equivalent fractions.
This is just one reason why we love the Explore zone, and the fact that we have the freedom to conference with students where they are at and catch these important conversations.
What has been your biggest aha moment this year?
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