SAVY 2019: Session 4, Day 2 – Fractions at Work (Rising 3rd/4th)
It was another great day working with and thinking about fractions today! We spent quite a bit of time comparing and ordering fractions. The students used a variety of strategies to think about how to put fractions in order from least to greatest. They especially enjoyed coming up with a fraction and working with classmates to put all their fractions in order. Our activities encourage students to approach a problem with different strategies to solve it. One of the most important things that happens in our SAVY class is the discussions around our thinking. I have been encouraging students to use mathematical vocabulary like numerator, denominator, etc. in their explanations.
We also spent some time thinking about factors of numbers and prime numbers. This idea of factors came up when students were talking about how they could compare fractions by changing them to different forms. It also sparked some interesting questions about 0 and 1!
In the afternoon, we did some experiments with probability and talked about how fractions are used to express the chances of an event occurring. For example, ½ can represent the chance of getting heads or tails with the flip of a coin. We talked about events in terms of what is possible and what is likely to happen. We had great conversations around the idea of outcomes that were possible but not likely! One student brought up the idea that we as humans sometimes make predictions about random events based on history. For example, if a student flipped 10 heads in a row, he might think that tails would be next. However, we talked about how what happened in the past has no bearing on a random even like a coin toss or a dice roll.
At the end of the day, the students enjoyed some free time that incorporated mathematics. This was a great chance for students to explore some different examples of math activities and have fun with each other. Students chose activities like paper airplane contests, fraction games, and origami.