As we teach different standards we perfect a few lessons to where they are not only educational but also engaging from the student’s point of view. I’d love to hear about your student’s favorite lessons. My student’s number one was using play dough to learn about fractions. You can read more about this activity on my blog post http://msateaches.com
During the last week of school I asked my students which were their favorite lessons this past year. I was fortunate to have a high-tech classroom. I had a document camera, an interactive white board, and three working classroom computers. We also went to the computer lab for 1 hour a week and library for 40 minutes every other week. For a public school in a low social economic area, this is quite high-tech. But the number one favorite learning activity was using Play Dough to learn about fractions.
After discussing the rules for the activity, I gave each of my 3rd grade special day class students a hunk of commercial play dough and a plastic knife. Last year we actually made the play dough in class. (Too much work for the teacher) The store bought worked just as well and cost about the same. Each student rolled and flattened his or her dough to make a pizza crust. Then we discussed how we would divide the pizza for our families if there were two, three, four… members, and we practiced dividing the dough and identifying the fractions. We also did simple comparisons: “which is greater, 1/2 or 1/3?” After the lesson I passed out dough cutters and let them create what the liked.