We are in crunch time until our big TEST. The next two weeks are basically review for the students as far as math goes. Because I like to embed my test prep all year long, I really am not doing the "take out your test prep book and bubble in the answers." They get that. They know how to do it. We have practiced all year so I am really not worried about them underlining and showing evidence.
What I am worried about is them forgetting the actual skills they need. There are just SO many skills that we teach in 5th grade, it becomes a big blur...even for me at times. It would be easy to break out a workbook and just drill and kill them, but seriously, I am bored just thinking about it. The best way to review that I have found with my students is playing a game. These kids *love* games (I honestly think if I had them take the TEST as a game they would all ace it). And I love anything that they are learning with. So I created this Go Fish game to help us review fractions, decimals, and percents. And let me tell you, they are LOVING it! (don't you love when you have these little brainstorms while sitting in bed trying to go to sleep that actual result in something productive and useful??)
So basically, the game is played just like the typical game of Go Fish. There are 4 players max (so I just made a few different sets of the game), they are dealt 5 cards each, extra cards in the draw pile, with the object of getting matching sets. What are the matching sets, you ask? The equivalent fraction, decimal, and percent of course!
The kids did all of their work, figuring out which fractions turned into which decimals and percents, and which percents would be equivalent to which fractions, on a sheet of paper, which I then collected. Next time, I am just going to laminate a few sheets to keep in the center so they can use this during their Workshop time. That way I am not using up too much paper (and the kids LOVE using the vis-a-vie markers!) Working out the percents to fractions proved to be REALLY difficult for the kids, especially those in the Advanced level group. Figuring what fraction matches 83.3% is just tough. Though, through the power of deductive reasoning, they were eventually able to get it.
Because I have different kids and different levels in my room, I made varying levels of difficulty for the game sets. Thank goodness because, as I had mentioned before, the Advanced level was truly advanced. Some kids were working only with 100ths in the denominator. Others were on 10ths. Still others were in the Big Dog fractions and had 6s and 8s in the denominators. I loved that I could differentiate like this, yet the kids had NO idea that there were some easier and not so easy game sets. (patting myself on the back for that one....I really am still trying to work on the differentiation in my room, as it is a struggle for me) They all were working at a level appropriate to them, yet were having fun doing it.
When the game was over, the students really got to see which fractions matched up and could tell me *why*. (YAY!!) Working backwards from the percents to the fractions is something we don't usually do, so that was eye-opening for me. I learned a lot about my students and their levels playing this game, and they learned a lot about the equivalencies of fractions, decimals, and percents. An added benefit to playing the game is that the more they play, the more automatic the common fractions/decimals/percents become. For some of my students, the work space is no longer necessary as they have these common conversions committed to memory (say that 3 times fast!)
If you would like this game, it is available at my TpT store, HOWEVER, I am going to give away a set to ONE person who comments about how they will use it in their classroom, as well as leave an email to send it to. (no email, no game...sorry) I will pick the winner using a random number generator tonight (April 23, 2012) at 9pm PST...so be quick! The file is really big, so just be prepared!
And we have a winner!!
Congratulations :) The game is in your email!!! Thank you so much to all who commented. You really made my night with all the nice things you said...and I am glad that this game could inspire you in your classroom!
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