Do your middle school math students have difficulty with their fraction, decimal, percent conversions? Mine often do, but I have a few ways to help them try to keep the concepts straight.
Tools for Teaching Fraction, Decimal, Percent Conversions:
We started our Percent Unit last week and began the unit with converting between fractions and percents and decimals. I had already made the fraction, decimal, percent number line (a free resource in me store) for them with the most common fractions, percents, and decimals, but I figured there was a need for a "foldable" to keep all of the "rules" for converting in one place.
We have already worked on converting decimals to fractions and fractions to decimals, but somehow, as we add new concepts, the students forget how to do these things! It's funny - my team teachers and I never write percents on students' papers any more, but always write their grades as fractions, like 18/23. From the first week of school, we teach the students how to change these fractions into their percentages, and every time they get a graded paper back, they are to find their percentages. So, when we say "Figure out your grade," they can do it. BUT, in math class, if I ask them to change 18/23 to a percent, they just look at me. When I give them the hint, "Pretend it's your grade," they look at me, understanding dawning on their faces! Why do they need that cue? Hmmm.....always a question.
Anyway, to keep the conversion rules all in one place, we made this "fold it up." The Fraction, Decimal, Percent tabs (triangles) each get cut in half, and have a different rule and example under each half.
I'm so glad we made these last week, because our schedule has been screwy for the past few school days! Thursday and Friday we had early dismissal due to parent-teacher conferences, so all math classes didn't meet both days; and today, we had a two hour delay, so all classes were short. The "fold it up" was super-handy as we had to work pretty quickly today! And hopefully, they've used it to help them with their homework tonight...
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Getting started with ratios!
We pretested ratios, rates, and proportions last week, and I found mixed results in the item analysis. I was surprised to find that very few students were able to write a ratio (the pretest question was: there are 2 hamsters and 1 gerbil - write a ratio of gerbils to hamsters). It wasn't that they wrote the ratio as hamsters to gerbils rather than gerbils to hamsters....they either left it blank, or wrote something that did not resemble a ratio. So, I was glad that I had prepared a couple of Fold it Ups for them to use this week!
I think this is the first time I've used this version of Fold it Up (with the triangles folded in) this year, and a few students commented that they like this version better than others (like the one I made for Wed...bummer), because this type won't rip as easily.
This one is quick and easy to use - students just cut out the square that makes up the fold it up, and then they fold each triangular section into the center, so the words are showing. (I did have students who folded the words to the inside of the fold it up, so they couldn't see the words...watch for that:-). Then they just need to add the notes under the appropriate flaps, and they're done!
You can click the image on the left, below, to go to TPT and download the fold it up (free).
Do you have a favorite note-taking method for ratios and rates? I'd love to hear!
Hi, I'm Ellie! My mission here is to support teachers as they work to provide engaging, meaningful experiences for their students. I've been in education for 25 years, teaching all subject areas at both the elementary and middle school levels, and am here to share what I've learned through those years, as well as what I continue to learn. I hope you'll find some ideas or resources here to help you out!