Do fractions make your students freeze with fear? Through the years, I have seen many children give up on understanding fractions and not even want to give it a try. I’ve tried many things through the years, including fraction tiles, fraction bars, pizza and pie games, and while they were helpful to many students, there were always one or two children in my class that just couldn’t grasp the idea. So, I recently decided to try a different approach – Laura Candler’s Penguin Fractions: Comparing and Ordering Resource Kit.
Let me tell you, my students LOVED these activities! To top it all off, even those students who normally hang back and wait for someone to step in and tell them/help them find the answer were fully engaged and active throughout every activity. And the results of how many students grasped comparing and ordering fractions? Hmmmm…..you can scroll all the way to the bottom to find out! 😉
To prepare for the Penguin Fractions Activities, I first printed out the items from the packet I wanted (the packet is truly loaded with a ton of activities, penguin fraction cards, and teacher resources). I chose to print in color, since I was going to be laminating and keeping the materials for future use.
I then took some time to read through the Teacher Step-by-Step Interactive Lessons. Laura really gave me some wonderful tips for teaching fractions; things I had not thought about before! After I read through the guides, I split the packet into 2 parts for my own use:
1. Lessons and Activities for future use and reteaching.
2. Lessons and Activities to use right now.
I then planned a special Penguin Fractions Math Day for all my math students. This was a break from our normal routine, so they were very excited! I chose 5 particular Penguin Fraction activities to use with my students on this day (There are many more in the packet that I’ll be using in the future weeks as review). After explaining what the students would be doing at each of the Penguin stations, I broke them into small groups of 3 or 4 and had them rotate to each of the centers.