Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mathematically Speaking...

So, let's talk about math, shall we? I have to admit... out of everything that I've had to learn this year in 4th grade, math has been the trickiest! I don't consider myself a master of math. In fact, I'm one of those people who has a fear of math.

Throughout this year, I've thought about math concepts that haven't crossed my mind in over 20 years. Long division. Vertices. Borrowing. Multiplying with double digits. Rays. Mode. Adding fractions with unlike denominators. And the list goes on and on...

I panicked at the beginning of the year. A lot. Things have gotten better, but I am consciously aware that I am still learning how to teach 4th grade math. Don't get me wrong - I don't feel I've done a bad job, I just know I can and will do better.

What I'm finding is that it really helps the kids (ok, and me) to have tutorials, videos, and cheat sheets for many of the concepts we're learning. And it makes me giddy when I find a trick or technique that really clicks with my kids! The butterfly method was one of those great finds.

I learned about it on Pinterest and shared it with my kids today. You can see the original post HERE on the Move It Math site. It's a way for kids to add or subtract fractions with unlike denominators. And I tell you... magic! It really simplifies the process and gives an easy-to-remember visual so kids will be able to easily access it on their own. I used THIS amazing tutorial from Mrs. Leoni on the Educreations site to teach my kids how it works. Below, you'll find a few pictures of us practicing the butterfly method!

I'm hopeful that I'll continue to find these tips and tricks to help me, my kids, and parents to support our learning!

1 comment:

1. I've seen this "trick" before but I still don't understand WHY I get the answer I get. Does that make sense? I think I'd learn it a lot better if I understood why. Is there a concrete way to show the process of adding fractions with unlike denominators?