Frustrating fraction multiplication (49 out of 365) #blogaday

I taught a math lesson today using a packet and I could tell the students weren’t very engaged. It was difficult for me because I really want to teach math with exciting activities that allow the students to explore, but the concept was difficult – they were learning how to multiply fractions by whole numbers and there were parts of the packet that my CT needed me to cover for state testing (like various models, and an equation). The students were focused and working the whole time, including when I walked around to check in/help them, BUT I knew it was BORING and didn’t know how to change it up quickly without my CT’s permission. The Skillful Teacher discusses the importance of altering lessons based on the student feedback and constantly gauging their moods. I really want to be a good teacher, but today was definitely a tough reflection on myself :/ frustrating fractions post1It really frustrated me today because with upper level math, it is difficult for me to find hands-on lessons (especially with the area model). I wanted to do something related to a human number line or fraction bar, but it wouldn’t really apply to everything that we needed to teach today. The math class that I took in the master’s program only really discussed the importance of analyzing student’s ways of solving problems and having a few present how they got their answers – this doesn’t relate to the math I’m teaching this week! I found a lesson for tomorrow (multiplication of fraction and fraction) that I hope will be more engaging. This reminds me of the quote at the top of my blog about needing to be involved in order to learn. I want to have more of a discovery-type lesson where I don’t tell the students how to multiply fractions (the equation), but I hope it doesn’t create too much frustration or confusion. Discovering concepts shouldn’t be easy, however, since it isn’t my class, it may be difficult to keep the momentum. 'I thought we were going halves.'

If you know of any great 5th grade level math activities, I would love to hear them! (comment below)