Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

January 8, 2009

Parts, wholes, and ratios

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 6:01 pm

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Today in math we used different pattern block manipulatives to experiment with shifting the value of the whole in fraction problems.  I went online to look for a similar type of virtual manipulative game and unfortunately didn’t find anything exactly like what we were doing.  However, I did stumble upon an easy to use math problem simulator that focuses on ratio word problems.  You can check it out by following the link to  Thinking Blocks.

I fiddled with the interface for a while and think that it offers a good variety of problems to meet a wide range of skill levels.  Also, the built-in system of using manipulatives and the scaffolds that order the steps you take can be helpful to develop a useful pattern to solve ratio word problems.  Additionally, the activity has a very clear tutorial and offers advice about what errors are being made and how to fix them.  So if your child is finishing up their math homework quickly and is looking for a challenge, hop on over to Thinking Blocks Solving Ratio Word Problems.  If one set of problems seems too easy, navigate through the different ones.  Some of the advanced ones really require you to think carefully and organize all the data into complex relationships.  Also, for the algebraically inclined, work on writing out algebraic relationships and check them at the end.

Also, I’d just like to take a moment to say thanks to all the kids.  To be honest, sometimes it can all get pretty overwhelming at a first year job.  I’m often one of the last ones out at night, I come in on the weekends, and overall really put in a great deal of my time and effort in developing things for the class.  Coming back from a vacation can be a difficult transition, but this week I have really appreciated seeing students enjoying learning, finding challenges, and appreciating working with each other.  I realize things don’t always work out perfectly, but we are all learning through our struggles, whether they may be keeping organized, memorizing our spelling or math facts, finding new ways to challenge ourselves, or working with others.  I’ve really had a great time coming back this week, and every day I’m finding lots of joy in the smiles I see.  To all those who have made something positive out of their learning this past week, a heartfelt thanks goes out to you. Take care.

Homework:

  1. Language Arts: Literature Circle Groups – Read and fill out job sheet, be ready for a quiz on your book tomorrow.
  2. Language Arts: Vocabulary sentences or story.  Focus words: monotonous, trilogy, biennial, bilingual, monologue.
  3. Mathematics: Fraction and Mixed Number Practice, Page 95
  4. Read for 20 minutes and fill out reading log. (OK to use Lit circle reading.)
  5. Other: Bring back signed homework and reading log.

Mr. Weis

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