Welcome back! Thanks to two consecutive snow days, the students got a four day weekend. Understandably, it took them a while to get acclimated to the routine but not too long. I know for certain that Friday, February 17th is Monday's make-up day. Yesterday's was to have been Monday, February 20th but as of this writing it is up for discussion. When it is finalized, I will adjust my calendar accordingly.
Math was a continuation of the fractions unit with a focus on one of the basic concepts: simplifying (or reducing). We already learned about identifying fractions and determining equivalents. Today was about lowest form.
The method I used to teach it is the Check 2 - 3 - 5 - 7 way. I did cover greatest common factor with my homeroom but both classes learned this method too. What it means is we ask ourselves whether BOTH the numerator AND the denominator can be evenly divided (no remainder) by either 2, 3, 5, or 7. If the answer is no, then the fraction is already simplified (reduced, lowest form - they all mean the same thing). For example, 2/3 is simplified because I can't divide 2 AND 3 by 2, 3, 5, or 7. I can divide 2 by 2, but not 3.
However, let's take 4/6 as an example. I know that both 4 and 6 can be divided by 2. When both are divided the fraction is now 2/3 which we know is simplified. Basically, the process is repeated until the only number that both can be divided by is one.
In science, today was the first of two days of testing. We have completed instruction in the energy unit and today and tomorrow is the unit test. As I had mentioned before both in this blog and in parent emails, two days are needed since:
A) The test consists of 40 questions and;
B) We only get about 30 minutes for science since science is not a tested subject in 4th grade.
I do not want my students to rush so this gives them an opportunity to take their time AND review any material that they are uncertain of.