We are now officially in order of operations. I started off the lesson with a number talk/warm-up. Students saw the fractions 1/4, 1/2, and 3/5. The question was: which two fractions are closest in value to each other? Students were allowed to solve it any way they liked, whether it was mentally, by drawing, or other ways. I went over two strategies to use. One, draw three boxes (since there are three fractions) of equal size. That is crucial! The sizes of the rectangles (or boxes) need to be equal in order to be able to compare them. By dividing one into fourths, another into halves, and the other into fifths, it was easy to see that 1/2 and 3/5 are closest to each other.
The other method was to divide. The fraction bar really means divide and the numerator (top number) is divided by the denominator (bottom). Or, the numerator is the dividend while the denominator is the divisor. Example, 1/2 is also 0.5 in decimal form. When 1 is divided by 2, 0.5 is the result. Divide then compare.
The main lesson was to use order of operations. I started out with a sample problem to solve: 3 x 5 + 4. There were two different answers: 19 and 27, depending upon which was done first. If the students added 5 and 4 to get 9 and then multiplied by 3, they would get 27. Most students got the correct answer, which is 19.
So, I learned very quickly in the lesson that this was definitely taught and mastered in the 4th grade. So I asked them why it is important to have a standard way of solving a problem with multiple operations. The consensus was that by having a set order of operations, we can be consistently accurate.
In social studies, students were given time to work on the Wax Museum research. Everyone at this point should have someone to research.