I’m in my visiting-artist teaching season right now. This year I have some breaks between my classroom visits. This is unusual, but I am taking advantage of having more time to design some new projects. There’s a fourth grade teacher that I have worked with many times already, but I have yet to feel like I’ve developed just the right project to bring to his classroom. I’ve been playing with something completely different this year. I’m not sure that I can teach this to fourth graders, so, as is my way when I am nervous about something, I completely over-prepare.
The structure I am planning to show is tricky. Do you see what is going on here? Folded one way, the word Magnanimous in on the right, fold it the other way, it’s on the left. The back of the card looks like this:
But when opened in the other direction, the back of the card shows a completely different image:
It’s tricky, and interactive. It feels a bit magical, which I think will appeal to this group of fourth graders. However, we’re not going to be using this for vocabulary words. My plan is that are going to work with fractions, with an emphasis on equivalent fractions. I’m not sure how far along the class will be on their fractions unit so I’ve been making graphics like crazy, showing sets of fractions that I think the Common Core is looking for at this grade level.
If you would like the complete set that I made, here’s the link to the Fractions PDF Fractions Zero to One. While working on this project it occurred to me that while studying fractions these students are doing something they have never done before, which is to think about numbers between zero and one. Up until this point the emphasis in school is on bigger and bigger numbers. This is their first U-turn into smaller numbers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the studying of fractions could use a bit of levity. A what could be more flippant than a Fractions Gif? Here’s what I came up with (chances are you will have to click on the image to get it to animate. Please do.)
The plan is to draw the students in with playful, colorful graphic, then have them make a series of little oddly constructed cards that collect equivalent fraction groups, then make a long, pocketed accordion to store them in.
I let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, I will work on a tutorial page on how to make the cards. See you then.