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  • Jeff Harvey

    August 17, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    I was co-teaching a lesson in a Grade 5/6 classroom and we were exploring equivalent fractions. The task was to draw an outline around the area that represents one half. I guess I did not give clear instructions and they started drawing in the white space to make halves. I was maybe too open to not intervening. I was exploring how much to say in the beginning. It was also tough since the co-teacher and I did not have an established dynamic. Anyway the task did not go very well, and the discussion was weak.

    So we pivoted to a task of making 2 and 1/2 as many ways possible with pattern blocks. The goal is to show equivalent fractions, but that learning goal adds on the concept “it matters what you define as your whole” Which came out naturally. That lesson was successful and in discussion you could see the student really understanding and lighting up and even articulating their understandings of equivalence and also defining the whole. So that worked much better. With very little teaching, only directing conversation between the students for the whole class.