Last week I attended the Maths Lead Teacher's meeting. It was run by both Sue and Ann. It was very informative, challenging and packed with activities that we can do with our students in class.
One of the activities that I liked was an activity on fractions. We were given twenty blocks each and an A4 coloured paper. Then Ann started giving us problems to solve...
She gave us problems that were somewhat like..
If 4 is a quarter, show me a whole; if 9 is one and a half, show me three and a half and so on. I must admit that some of the problems were grappling. We did this individually at the PLD but for the purpose of my class I paired by students. I gave them enough wait time to think about the problems. Check out the use of equipment and visual representations of their problem solving.
First the students could not understand what they were asked. But I had decided that I would not give them hints and so kept encouraging them to understand the language of maths in the question and then try to solve it. I gave them enough wait time. Finally one child shared his understanding. It was an correct answer. I asked him to share his working with the rest of the class on the board. This was an Aha!! moment for the others. They all solved their problems in their pairs and then took the initiative to help out those who did not get it. It was a very rewarding lesson and all students enjoyed doing it. The activity definitely made the understanding of fractions clearer and easier.