For the past two weeks we have investigating Fractions through a program called “CONTEXTS for Learning Mathematics”, which we will be using more comprehensively next year in Junior School. This year we are introducing the program and getting more familiar with it. We have approached Fractions using the contexts.
In the case of the fractions, the context for the investigation has been a field trip, for which students took subway sandwiches as a lunch. The students were divided in groups and went on different fieldtrips. Once they all got back to school, they realised that each group had gotten different amounts of sandwiches and they found the situation unfair.
From this imaginative situation rises the J4’s investigations: What kind of a portion of a subway sandwich did each child in each group receive and indeed, was the distribution fair or unfair? The students have worked collaboratively in groups and have explained their findings in posters using mathematical thinking and explanations.
We have had a chance to look at the different strategies J4R students used and share our thinking with the whole group. Right now we are investigating how to make the distribution better and the amounts fairer amongst all the students.
Working on the posters, sharing their thinking and explaining their theories have provided the students with great collaborative activities and opportunities to discuss mathematical solutions in context. But above all, the students have found themselves very engaged and excited about learning Math!