Monday, April 27, 2015

Fractions & Sentence Frames

Hi, I'm Jessica from What I Have Learned.  It's great to be back here on Who's Who!  Since I've posted here, I've gotten a whole new blog design.

What I Have Learned

At about this time last year, I wrote a blog post for Who's Who all about how I use sentence frames in Math.  Click on the link or the photo to read all the reasons behind why I use specific sentence frames in my classroom.

In the previous blog post, I gave you examples using sentence frames in multiplication. Today, I want to give you a some more examples, but this time using fractions.  Here is how we have used vocabulary and sentence frames in our classroom to learn about fractions.

Become Familiar with the Vocabulary

The first day in working with fractions, we made fraction strips.  This activity helped students become familiar with the language of fractions though hands on cutting.

We also played a game called Cover Up, where students had to cover up their whole piece with the fractional amount rolled on a piece of dice.  While playing, one of the "rules" was that students had to say the name of the fraction, which helped them practice the correct language.

With older students, I have them write their turns to see how like fractions can be put together and how, when it's all added up, it equals one.  For my second graders, my main objective was for them to practice accurate fraction vocabulary.

Sentence Frames

After students were familiar with the fractional terms, I introduced the sentence frames.

We practiced saying the sentence frames though choral responses.


After students had a decent grasp of the sentence frames, we practiced partitioning shapes into equal amounts.

We started with precut shapes and folding.  As we folded the shape and labeled it, we also use the sentence frames to describe it.  Since we were working on two skills here, partitioning and using the sentence frames, I didn't have students take it to writing yet.  I really wanted them to get the idea of partitioning fractions and describing them.

The next day, students partitioned their own shapes.  We started all together on chart paper.  Again, using the chart paper with the sentence frames, we discussed how I was partitioning and shading in the shapes.

Students went back to their desks and, using their math notebooks, drew a large shape, partitioned it, and described it using the sentence frames.  I gave students the sentence fames so that they wouldn't get bogged down with the writing.

Students had to draw one circle and one rectangle, although they were able to choose how they partitioned the shape (within halves, thirds or fourths) and choose how to shade in the shape.  This last student needed a little bit of help describing her shape, but you can see where the drawing along side the sentence frames helped her understand the concept.

One other game that my students have been playing a lot lately to practice the fraction terminology is Fraction Go Fish.  This has been a beloved game in my classroom.  Who doesn't love a good game of Go Fish?

Do you use sentence frames in your classroom?  How do you use them to help your students understand and use academic language?

For more great ideas on how to teach difficult math concepts and scaffolding learning for students, come visit me at What I Have Learned.


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