Thursday, September 22, 2011


So...I need to vent a little, and ask for some help from some 4th grade Math teachers.  This is my 2nd year teaching 4th grade.  Last year, I followed the pacing guide that our county had created.  1st nine weeks we were teaching Place Value, Addition and Multiplication Properties, reviewed multiplication/division facts, and started double digit multiplication.  2nd nine weeks, was mostly long division.  3rd nine weeks we learned fractions and decimals, and 4th nine weeks was our algebra and graphs.  This worked well....I felt like things moved a sequential pace, and it allowed for me to have time to go back and review previous skills when we came to something new. (We do a daily spiral anyways, but you get the idea).

So this summer, apparently someone thought it would be a good idea to change our pacing guide.  So now in the 1st nine weeks, we have taught Place Value, and now we are working on fractions.  My kiddos understood the benchmark fractions, and writing a fraction for a problem, but when we got to equivalent fractions and simplest form, they lost it.  They are stressing out like no other, and freaking out...and I can't blame them. Their little minds aren't ready for this...first of all, they are coming off of summer...we need to review their multiplication and division before they can start manipulating fractions! And the pacing guide doesn't have us teaching that until 2nd nine weeks, and then we don't even go over the properties until the 3rd nine weeks! It just isn't sequential...and I don't want my kiddos getting all upset over fractions, and feeling defeated this early in the game...that just sets the mood for the rest of the year.

What do y'all think? What is the order that y'all teach these things? Like I said, they understood the benchmark fractions, and writing a fraction from a problem (this many people share this many slices, what fraction does each person get?)...and they can probably understand the adding of fractions with like denominators.  But changing denominators, and reducing fractions...I just feel like we need to do division first...since after all, fractions are division!