Teaching and Learning Procedures
Introducing the Project
- Begin the project by posting the Focus Question, Are fractions important or would we be better off without them? Elicit learners’ initial responses and have them record their thoughts in their maths journals.
- To help learners understand fractions in a concrete way, involve them in a variety of hands-on experiences working with real-life fractions. Have them decorate cookies as fractional parts, divide paper cookies among friends, examine fractions in everyday life, and create their own fraction models. Ask learners to reflect on the activities in their maths journals. Review journals for understanding and present additional lessons as necessary.
- Move on to more hands-on experiences dealing with fraction notation and equivalency. At the end of these activities, divide learners into groups and assign each group to create a poster board summarizing one of the fraction activities they’ve worked on. Post the completed posters on the wall for learners to refer to throughout the project. Pass out the poster checklist and collaboration checklist to help guide the process.
Presenting the Project Scenario
- Post the Focus Questions, How are fractions used on the job and are they needed to get the job done right? and How can understanding fractions make your life easier?
- Inform learners that in order to uncover the answers to these questions and the Focus Question presented earlier, they will each be taking on the role of a worker in a profession that uses fractions. Their task is to find out just how important fractions are to a profession and how the ability to work with fractions affects job performance. Finally, learners must solve real-world fraction problems that relate in some way to the professions and draw conclusions about how the problems translate into their own lives.
- Assign or allow learners to choose a profession that uses fractions daily on the job. After each learner has a profession, pass out the project rubric and presentation checklist, and discuss project requirements and assessment criteria. Check to be sure learners understand the assigned tasks.
Researching and Collecting Information in a Variety of Ways
- Provide learners with a list of websites to use for researching their assigned professions as well as a research checklist to help learners organize their work for the upcoming presentations.
- Demonstrate interview techniques and discuss the importance of collecting information from experts in the field. Together generate a list of interview questions that might be important to ask an expert in order to help address all of the project criteria and answer the Focus Questions. Discuss how email can be used as an effective tool to communicate with experts.
- Allow several days for learners to conduct research and interviews with experts and review the research checklist during conferences with learners to ensure learners are collecting adequate information.
- Ask learners to refer to the presentation checklist and project rubric to help guide them while they work on their presentations.
- Provide storyboard templates to learners so that they can visually plan their presentations. Each storyboard should include slide titles and a bulleted list of key points.
- Remind learners that their presentations should answer the following Focus Questions:
- Are fractions important or would we be better off without them?
- How are fractions used on the job and are they needed to get the job done right?
- How can understanding fractions make your life easier?
- Presentations should also include an answer to the bigger, Essential Question, Does accuracy really matter that much
- While learners work, ask probing questions to encourage them to make connections and draw conclusions to add to their presentation. Also set up conferences to help focus learners on thinking skills they are using.
- Have each learner come up with a real-world fraction problem that demonstrates a connection to the profession they’ve researched. Inform learners that they need to state their real-world problems and show, step by step, how to solve them. Learner should also address and include the answer to the following Content Questions:
- What is a fraction?
- How do you add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions?
- What is the difference between a numerator and a denominator?
- How do you change a mixed numeral into an improper fraction?
- Meet with the learners individually as storyboards are completed to discuss the presentations and suggest any edits. Once a learner’s storyboard has been approved, allow the learner to begin creating slides. Guide and assist learners as necessary as they create their presentations.