Search All of the Math Forum:
Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by
NCTM or The Math Forum.



Re: low ability fifth graders
Posted:
Feb 18, 2005 7:02 PM


I suggest that you go back to the 4th grade unit, Different Shapes, Equal Pieces and have them work on some of those activities that use a geoboard. This will help them get the hang of what fractions represent, at least in the area model. While that is going on, introduce them to the array cards that Investigations uses in grades 3 and up . These multiplication cards mimic the area model of fractions and can be used in the same way. For example, the 4 by 6 array card has an area of 24 square units. Dividing this card into three equal rectangular parts would make each part a 2 by 4 rectangle with 8 square units. Onethird of 24 is 8. The geoboards use the board itself as one whole unit while the array cards use the product of two factors as the whole unit. They do get the hang of this but it takes time and since they never did this when they were in the primary grades, expect it to take even more time. It is worth the time, though, because once they get it it will stay with them forever. Stuffing them with algorithms with no meaning attached will not.



