It’s that time of year again.
Like it or not, it’s rapidly approaching. In fact, it may have invaded your classroom already! That’s right: fractions.
Oh, and the holidays, too, I guess.
In relation to these facts, I have some good news and some bad news. Let’s do the bad news first: I can’t help you handle the in-laws over the holidays or give you the perfect recipe for homemade pumpkin pie. The good news, though, is that I can help you tackle those pesky fractions! The only recipe you’ll find here is for the perfect combination of engaging and educational. And the best part? Unlike that pumpkin pie recipe, I’ve already done all the hard work for you. It’s all the ease of a store-bought pie, with all the quality of a homemade one!
Can you tell I have desserts on the brain? Never mind that for now–I want to show you what I’m talking about. Feast (ha!) your eyes upon my treat for you this holiday season: my Fraction Feast resource!
Fraction Feast: What Is It?
In short, this Fraction Feast is a downright delicious project-based learning resource that will engage your students with a wide variety of hands-on activities while educating them on all sorts of fraction-y fun. What kinds of fraction-y fun? I’m glad you asked!
Fraction Feast covers everything from partitioning fractions, adding with like and unlike denominators, working with decimals, equivalent fractions, and so much more. Check the link above for a full list of what’s covered in the resource. But to put it simply, this activity covers just about everything you’re going to be teaching, anyway, so why not pick it up? A week’s worth of engaging, low-prep activities that will keep students learning and on-task during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is definitely worth it.
As for what’s physically inside the resource, I’ll give you a hint: there are fractions, and it’s a feast! The resource contains hand-drawn images of a wide variety of popular holiday foods, all of which can be split into fractions, and a plethora of diverse activities surrounding these food items. Read on to find out more!
Okay, So How Do I Use It?
As a PBL resource, you can expect plenty of hands-on activities as well as real-life applications. This product includes a suggested weekly pacing plan, so you can be sure to make the most of it, even if you aren’t quite sure where to begin in your fraction-teaching endeavors! In addition, this product contains three different levels of differentiation–all clearly labeled for you–so you can ensure your students are receiving the best-suited challenge appropriate for their level.
At the beginning of the resource, there is a “teacher’s page” that details every activity in the set, what you can expect from them, what the activity accomplishes, how to use it, recommendations, and so on. Each activity also contains thorough instructions for your students to follow. While you do not have to use every activity in the set, it’d be a waste not to–they flow well together and keep students hungry for more!
The only prep work required in this resource is the usual–printing. Students will cut out the fractional food items themselves! No need to worry about spending your precious time cooped up at the laminating machine or the paper cutter. Just print out either the color or black and white version (both are included!), pass them out, and you’re good to go! Students can either work alone, in small groups, with a partner, or at stations–whatever fits your needs best. In addition, this resource can be used for math centers, homework, or early finishers! And, as always, if you need more tips for math centers or early finishers, I’ve got you covered.
Will It Really Keep My Students Engaged?
I know, I know–the holidays are crazy in a classroom. With another break around every corner, students just can’t seem to sit still! I’ve posted about ways to help students with short attention spans in the past, but it can certainly be more difficult when it’s your entire classroom that’s bouncing off the walls.
That being said, my number one piece of advice for this time of year is to keep students engaged. Whether you’re trying to teach new information or simply review topics from previous units, engaging education is always the way to go, especially in these trying times. The best way to ensure you’re captivating students’ attention is with hands-on activities–a niche that project-based learning fills perfectly!
Specifically, the Fraction Feast PBL resource engages students by keeping them appropriately challenged thanks to differentiation, encouraging critical thinking, allowing for hands-on exploration, and providing real-life application. They’ll be drooling over the delicious, vibrant images, and even their brains will be hungry for more!
For example, one activity involves students receiving an order and needing to fill a plate with the fractional food items based on that order. They will need to add fractions together on the ticket to determine how many portions of each item they need, and reduce the fraction down to its simplest form if needed. Then, their challenge is taken a step further by incorporating decimals (money) into the food ticket, and having to find the cheapest way to make the correct portions of food!
What About the Benefits?
There are about as many benefits to this resource as there are ways to make cranberry sauce–that is, tons and tons! First of all, the setup for this activity is less time-consuming than anything you’ll do this holiday season, from cooking to wrapping to decorating. Just print and go! Any time you can save is always worthwhile, not to mention all the time you’d save from not having to plan math lessons for an entire week.
Besides the time-saving, your students will be engaged and captivated from the math-rich environment you create. Sure, we know how to talk so students listen, but you can only talk so much. Having a learning-positive environment in your classroom helps more than any words you could say! To help keep students engaged, there are three levels of differentiation to choose from, all of which encourage critical thinking, and are student-centered. In addition, students are provided with a variety of concepts to cover. For example, check out these fantastic Fraction Feast dishes you have to look forward to:
Is there anything better than saving time and being able to relax knowing your students are receiving an enriching learning experience that covers one of the trickier math subjects? You can consider that my gift to you–all you have to worry about is your own Thanksgiving feast!
If you’re ever in the market for more helpful harvesttime hints, I have a cornucopia of ideas and activities (plus a freebie!) in this Thanksgiving blog post. But as far as math goes, I think my Fraction Feast has you covered!
And if you ever do find that perfect pumpkin pie recipe, please… Let me know. I’m starving.