Monday, January 28, 2013

Geoboard (free)

Geoboard is another free app that is great to use when learning about fifth grade fractions.  It has two virtual boards, a small 5 x 5 peg board and a larger 10 x 15 peg board, multiple colored rubber bands to use on the boards, and it allows for the possibility of filling in shapes.  It is easy to use once you get used to "hooking" the rubber bands on the pegs and, always a plus with a big class, virtual clean up is a breeze!

As usual, students were introduced to the app first and given a few minutes to experiment with what they could do with it.

Then, we used Geoboard to understand dividing fractions.  Students were able to create wholes, then easily divide them into fractional parts to really understand what they are doing when they divide whole numbers by fractions in this instance.   This can help them understand why, when dividing a whole number by a fraction, they can expect the quotient to be larger than the dividend, rather than smaller as would be the case with two whole numbers, usually a perplexing idea!

 I could have paid one student for a public service announcement for our class and the iPads when she said, "no wonder you didn't understand this when you were a kid (I didn't), you didn't have a teacher as good as you are and you didn't have the iPads."  Thank you my dear!  This is why we teach!

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