fractionsis a bit like marmite … you either love it or hate it. Especially at secondary schools, when the students already have a firm idea on where they stand on the subject and the usual response is “I ‘ate fractions!!”

It’s a topic that I usually can’t get too excited about, but it’s one in which I have learnt that I never, ever (ever!) introduce the learning objectives at the start of the lesson. I will tell the students it’s a secret and that we’ll agree what we’ve learnt at the end of the lesson, as I’ve found that the negativity is infectious if one student is particularly vocal about their views, and it spreads like wildfire around the room. 

I’ve started to put together some resources that I’ll be using and I’ll add them to this post so this is a bit of a “work in progress” post.  I’ve made them working on the basis of starting from quite a basic level, as I want the students to feel a sense of accomplishment, so I can really “big them up” as we fly through the work …

In the first lesson we’ll be looking at equivalence, and one of the worksheets is in a connect 4 style (here it is) and then I’ve made a set of “snap” cards (here)  – just like playing “snap” with playing cards, which I’m going to get the students to play in pairs (there’s three pages, so more cards than is shown in the pic below). I have a couple of things that I may do then (1) As I go around the room I will pick specific cards for each student and get them stuck in their book, asking them to write down as many equivalent fractions as they can in a certain time scale … this will be good times tables practice for some too; I may ask them to prove pictorially (or otherwise) that two specific fractions are equal or I may even get some of the students to make some additional cards to add to their set. It’ll just be a nice little adaptable activity.

snap cards

… lesson 2 will be converting between Proper/Improper fractions .. whatever you do, don’t make hand signals for “Top Heavy” … done that before, as I do a lot of hand gestures and my year 11s have never let me forget!! (and if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, imagine how you could mime the phrase!)