Today I am teaming up with some of the best math bloggers out there to bring you 12 different math books that will change your teaching! Each blogger has chosen a different book to tell you about and will be giving away a copy of that book on their blog. Check out this great group of blog hop participants!
I spend a lot of my time reading math and teaching professional development books. I always get some good information out of the books I read but only a handful of them get a special spot on my shelf as the books that I will recommend over and over again to other teachers. Today I want to tell you about one of those books.
I first read this book when it came out in 2010 and it completely changed the way I teach fractions. The authors of this book read all of the research on how kids learn fractions and present it in an easy to read format.
Chapter 1: Modeling and Developing Understanding of Fractions
What kinds of models does your math program use? Do you know there are three different kinds of models that kids need to interact with as they are developing and understanding of fractions? I certainly did not! This chapter will walk you through area, set and linear models and give you some ideas for incorporating more modeling into your classroom. I found linear models completely lacking from my math program when I first read this book. As I gradually addressed these changes and added more modeling into our program, I noticed a big difference in kids' understanding and ability to use models to solve problems.
Chapter 2: Inappropriate Use of Whole Number Reasoning
Have you ever had a kid tell you 1/4 is bigger than 1/3 because 4 is bigger than 3? This is just one example of inappropriate whole number reasoning. This chapter also gets into some detailed ways that teachers actually TEACH kids to use inappropriate whole number reasoning during their early fraction instruction. This is a huge eye opener to most teachers, especially those who teach first and second grade. I had to tweak some of the wording I use with kids when I teach first and second grade fractions.
Chapter 3: What is the Whole?
This chapter helped me push students conceptual understanding of fractions much deeper. It made me realize that all the questions I was asking involved giving the students the whole and asking them to find a part. I never thought of asking kids to find a whole when given a part. An example of this would be showing kids what half of the candy bar looks like and asking them what the whole would be. These problems seem so awkward at first when you are not used to asking them but quickly become part of your repertoire and really help push kids' thinking to the next level.
Chapter 4: Partitioning
This chapter made a huge difference in how I use models with kids and how I teach them to use models as well. This breaks down the difference types of partitioning and shows you how to move kids from halving to more complex fractions. Good drawing of models has gone a long way in helping my kids construct all kinds of algorithms and notice many patterns in their fraction understanding. Think about how you would teach kids to draw eighths or fifths or twelfths. Check out this chapter for more help!
Chapter 5: Comparing and Ordering Fractions
Before you read on, think about how many strategies there are for comparing fractions. I could think of one and only one before reading this book. The common denominator. Well I was VERY wrong about that. Now I listen to my students very carefully when giving them comparing fraction type problems. I also am much more intentional in which fractions I ask them to compare so that I can elicit some of the different strategies. This chapter outlines five different strategies for comparing fractions and your students WILL invent these on their own if given the right fractions. This chapter gives teachers lots of aha moments!
Chapter 6: Number Lines and Fractions
I am a bit embarrassed to admit that before reading this book, I did little to no work with linear or number line models for fractions. Fraction number lines barely made an appearance in our state standards and showed up very inconsistently in our math program. After reading this book, I discovered the power of the number line and now my number line lessons are some of my favorite ways to elicit the big ideas of fractions and to help kids make connections between fractions, decimals and percents.
Chapter 7: The Density of Fractions
This is about really getting at the big idea of infinity and more specifically that there are an infinite number of fractions between any two whole numbers. The number line model really supports this big idea! Think about asking your students to name two fractions between one fourth and one half. Could they do it? How about naming two fractions between seven eights and a whole? See how these questions can open up some great discussions?
Chapter 8: Equivalent Fractions and Comparisons
Finding equivalent fractions is such an important skill for kids to have! It is the gateway to fraction operations and something many MANY kids need more work with.
Chapter 9: Addition and Subtraction of Fractions
Now that my district follows the Common Core State Standards, we do a lot more with fraction addition and subtraction in grades 4 and 5. Most of this work used to be done in grade 6. The biggest aha I got from this chapter is that just because a kid can follow the common denominator procedure to add or subtract fractions does not mean they have any understanding of the quantities. There is an example in the book that asks kids which number the sum of two fractions is closest to and a kid does a great job showing fraction addition with common denominators, gets a fraction like 19/20 and then says the sum is closest to 20!
Chapter 10: Multiplication and Division of Fractions
This chapter is chuck full of great ideas for fraction multiplication and division which has always been something I had struggled to teach in a conceptual way. This is where I first thought about using the area model for fraction multiplication.
If you teach fractions, this is definitely a book that could change your teaching! It is loaded with examples of real student work and will open your eyes to some new ideas for teaching fractions. It also is a great example of using formative assessment to inform your instruction.
Go grab this book now or enter below for your chance to win a FREE COPY! This giveaway is open to folks living in the US or Canada! At the bottom of this page you can head over to the next stop on this blog hop!
|Head on over to The Recovering Traditionalist for the next stop on this blog hop. She will be telling you about one of my favorite math professional books of all time, Children's Mathematics|