Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Baking with Fractions

Bitterly sweet, my time is wrapping up here in Spain.  My job is coming to an end.  Only ELEVEN more days of work for this girl.  And since I'm a "pull out" ESL teacher, my schedule is getting thinned due to end-of-the year events in the classroom- meaning I'm wrapping up lessons and assessments now.  This means not much interesting "teachery" stuff is happening in my life, so I thought this would be a perfect chance to share a few lessons and activities from last year {teaching 5th grade in Colorado} that I never got around to sharing because my life was packed with work, planning a wedding, and moving across the country... you know, no biggie.  

If you don't know, I looped up with my 4th graders to 5th grade last year.  Oh how I loved my class and how I adore looping.  You know how amazing this time of the year is with students?  Well imagine that x2, because that's what looping does with your community.  So this time last year was so much fun.  And we were blessed {BLESSED, I tell ya} to have Mrs. Cahill in there co-teaching.  Oh so blessed.

SO we were wrapping up a unit on multiplying and dividing by fractions.  And I desperately wanted to throw in a fun assessment since we were post-state testing and our brains were FRIED.  {Seriously, though} And that's where baking with fractions came in! 

I gathered together some simple recipes and their ingredients. We had a gluten free student so I made sure she had something too. 

I whipped up this sheet, which you can download from dropbox here!  Just fill in the recipe in the box on the left and write in the baking directions. 

Students worked to figure out their halved recipes.  Some used manipulatives and others talked it out.  While they worked, I walked around and took anecdotals, assessing their work.  It was fine for me that they worked together since I could still assess their understanding and see their work. 

Once they had a recipe and it was approved by me or Mrs. Cahill, our kiddos got to work.  {We just looked to make sure they had done the work, but we didn't tell them if it was correct or not}.  I borrowed measuring cups, spoons, and bowls from my house and fellow teaching friends.  Students still had to share materials a bit but not too much. 

And in the oven they went!

While their recipes were baking, they worked on the reflection questions {included in the Baking with Fractions Worksheet}.

When they came out of the oven, it was easy to see whose recipes were precise and who needed some extra practice or missed a step :)  Regardless, all treats were eaten and we reviewed their work and steps.  This also led to a mini lesson on chemistry- "So if you didn't add enough flour, what happened to your recipe?"

Luckily, my students were responsible for dishes and took care of the cleaning!  That's the type of baking I could really get into!

Interested in other ways to assess your student's knowledge of fractions?  Check out my Fraction Art activity!

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