Math Makers: Fraction Flags

A few weeks ago we were learning about fractions in my 2nd grade classroom.  We don’t do worksheets or workbook pages very often, but this unit offered a worksheet that allowed my students to create a flag.  They were offered various boxes divided into halves, thirds, and fourths.  I knew my little artists would enjoy creating flags so I gave them the worksheets and let them design colorful flags.  I was right.  My 2nd graders thoroughly enjoyed this activity!  They enjoyed it so much that they requested (over and over again) to make the flags they designed.

Fridays at my school are devoted to enrichment.  We have Genius Hour.  We don’t do RTI on Friday.  We try to allow our students to chase their passions and discover new talents.  On a recent Friday, I handed back their flag designs and provided various types of colorful paper for my 2nd graders to create their Fraction Flags.

After they were finished creating their Fraction Flags, we headed for the iPads.  We used Educreations to take photos of our flags.  They used the pen tool to write the fractions portrayed on each flag.  My students were then able to record themselves explaining the fractions they created in their flags.  Explaining their reasoning addresses 2nd Grade Texas Math TEK 1.D.  We do this often in a variety of ways.  Second graders love to use the iPad and record themselves explaining their math thinking and reasoning.  They solidify their own learning and help others learn at the same time.

Some of my friends chose to use Seesaw and our class blog to showcase their Fraction Flag.  Others chose to use Shadow Puppets Edu.

Check out our Fraction Flags.  They are as diverse as the learners in my classroom.  That’s what makes being a teacher fresh and exciting every day.

Scan the QR Code to view some of our finished products on Padlet.

Are your students Makers?  Share your ideas in the comments section.

Banking Day

I reward good behavior in my classroom with coins.  This helps my 2nd graders learn to identify coins, count coins, and make change.  Once a week we have Banking Day.  My students trade in their pennies and nickels, which I am very generous with, for quarters, dimes, and even dollars.  They also purchase rewards on this day.  I usually let them choose what rewards they would like to buy.  Here is a sample shot of what they chose.  Most of these were already on my Choice Mat.

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At the beginning of the year I offer limited choices.  Many friends aren’t ready to choose from the whole list.  They spend their whole reward time trying to decide what they want to do.  This past week I let my friends choose a few of their favorites.  Tech time, Building, and Making/Creating are always at the top of the list.  Making and Creating is what my friends call Free Time this year.  They are only allowed to make one choice per week.  I do let them Pick 2 if one of the choices is Shoes Off.

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It is loud and crazy when the kids are trading in their coins at the bank.  Some of them have trouble with this for a while.  Unfortunately I have no pictures of this phase as I am the banker.

The kids love this day and usually settle into their choices with great abandon.  2nd graders will do anything for a plastic penny or nickel.  I rarely have behavior problems in my classroom.  They love to collect coins and buy rewards on Banking Day.  As I said, I’m very generous with their earnings.  I want everyone to have coins to identify and count.  I want everyone to have a reward of some sort on Banking Day.

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Here are some iPad apps you can use to reinforce money skills in your classroom.

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Here is a coin reference sheet you can place in your student’s math journals.  You can also use these reward charts.

10-cents 25-cents 40-cents 50-cents

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Identifying coins, counting coins, and making change are difficult for students.  Give your kids some real life experience with money.  They will love it!