Friday, September 9, 2011


We’re starting with fractions again around here for the younger crowd. It’s funny really, that just when you think you’ve finished teaching a topic you suddenly find yourself teaching it again. While we’ve been using Teaching Textbooks for math around here, we’re still enjoying living math lessons as well.
I keep a close eye on what the boys are learning and how they are scoring on their lessons. If I see an area where they score poorly consistently or they ask me lots of questions about then I find extras for us to do in that area in order for me to be certain, and them to be confident, in what is being learned.
So, I find myself with a mini list of things I want to work with Jayden on. Very mini, for that matter, because he really does very well for himself. One of the items on my list is fractions.
I confess, the first resource I always turn to is my books from A Collection Of Math Lessons. I know it’s weird, but I really love those books! In fact, we have a daily session of reading around here where the boys are required to read for 20 minutes from books I’ve assigned them. This week Morgan was reading about Daniel Boone, Jayden was reading a beginner’s chapter book, and I was sitting there curled up with a math book. Morgan looks up, clears his throat and says, “I really don’t feel like you’re reading when I see that you have a math book in your hand Mom.” I kid you not! 
I also pulled out Apple Fractions. Have you seen this book? It’s beautifully illustrated, and very fun to read. The entire concept is fractions, obviously, but it also lightly touches on things like numerator, denominator, & improper fractions. Just enough so that he understood exactly what those things meant without having to poor over gobs of math problems.
I also took liberties with the text and anytime it deviated from the theme of apples I’d end that page with, “Anyway, let’s get back to the apples!” or something of that nature. He raved about the book to Morgan & then later to Mr S and confessed to both of them that it was so funny I should read it again. Then he asked me to specifically read a page where it said “now back to the apples!” I had to hide a snicker.
After finishing the book I thought it would have been wonderful to have a matching notebooking page, I’ll have to work on that this week. In the mean time I gave him a page full of squares and we broke them down 
into all sorts of fun fractions.

I also picked up Spaghetti & Meatballs For All as I have a lesson planned for this book as well, all based on fractions. Anything involving spaghetti is sure to please in this house with the boys. 
We also watched an episode of Cyberchase involving fractions, per his request. Yeah, I know I’m raising geeks who ask for math cartoons, it could be worse I suppose.. {follow the link & you'll see the other parts of the episode..}
We’ve also got a few fractions games, mostly homemade, that we’ll be pulling out to use. I’m also thinking that since Morgan has covered radius and diameter I should make them an apple pie & let him cover that & Jayden cover fractions all with the pie. You know, if I can keep them eating it before we use it for a math lesson.
It should be a fun math month!

1 comment:

Melody said...

Thanks so much for sharing these ideas! I'm definitely going to search our library for these books. How have you liked using teaching textbooks? I have a friend who didn't really like the algebra book--she thought it was a little much for high school. Just wondered what your opinion was.