NEW JOB!!! and some fraction ideas

I recently accepted a new teaching position with a middle school where I'll be teaching 6th and 7th grade math. I was fortunate to be at my last school for about 10 years exploring 7th and 8th grade math: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 1A, Algebra Honors, and Geometry. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities, experiences, friendships, and professional growth opportunities the school afforded me. As I advance in my teaching career, I'm very excited about my new position, new school, new students, and new everything. There are many differences between my previous school and my future school... and I welcome them wholeheartedly.

As my future school transitions to Common Core, I'm giddy at the thought of exploring so many wonderful concepts in 6th and 7th grade math. However, I will be working with students that have typically struggled when it comes to understanding math. Therefore, I had a few ideas about fractions I thought I'd like to explore with you.

I'll include all the visuals here, but feel free to go to my "fractions test page" at Estimation 180 to get the full experience. Please offer me some feedback. I'd like to pursue these "fraction" ideas with other items; some easier, some more difficult. Is this something you could use? Is this something worth pursuing?

Question: Where would the cylinder be one-third full?
(Image 1)

We're estimating here. I did not provide any choices because I want students to formulate ideas on their own. Look at their screen and move their finger up and down the screen to find one-third. Come up to the board at the front of the classroom and put a post-it note on the board.

Offer some choices: When ready, click on the image for choices.

Notice I said, "when ready"? Did you have students discuss? point with their fingers? place a few sticky notes on the screen at the front of the room? or something else to get students invested? Because of the restrictions at Estimation 180, this image will currently serve as the next viable step. Now students have a choice. I'm not the biggest fan of this, but it's something. Were there students who were way off because their sticky or initial guess didn't even fall within the given range?

Make a choice and demand reasoning: Why did a student choose "C" instead of "D"? Have students try and convince each other. Argue! Egg them on a little bit. Have students choose a line in which they think the cylinder will reach one-third its capacity.

Do some math? I provide you with the capacity of the glass: 1,170 milliliters. Find one-third of that. Encourage different strategies in your class. Doing the math won't tell students if the answer is choice A, B, C, D, or E, but it might help with later parts of this activity.

Reveal the answer: a really short video.

I have additional video for two-thirds, fourths, and a full cylinder (when using thirds or fourths). I haven't inserted the choices, added a counter, or other after effects. Would this be something you'd be interested in? Please let me know.

Two things:

  1. I also set this up as Red Dot (Active Prompt) activity and it'd be fun to see how students would approach this activity without multiple choice. Then, show the class their results before watching the answer (video).
  2. I'd love to see Dave Major make a slider so students could slide a bar up and down the cylinder. Using a computer or tablet, students could place the bar where they want and without a given range of choices. Then we could see who was actually correct.

What feedback do you have for me? Again, is this something you could use? Should I prepare more at Estimation 180? Would you like to see the remaining fractions and other ideas?