This week we started fractions. I was a bit worried because I know that students often struggle with fractions and I haven't taught math in forever. We started off by discussing what fractions are and they did a great job of coming up with a definition together....Fractions are parts of a whole. Many remembered the names of the numerator and denominator and some even knew the connection between fractions and division. One of the girls walked in wearing a great shirt that was perfect for fractions. It had an image of a bubble gum machine with different colored gumballs. We used that briefly to remember what fractions were. Then I had them briefly discuss what they liked about fractions and many said that they were fun and enjoyed working with fractions. One said they like fractions because it was easily related to food! What a great segue to our Smarties lesson!
I had seen several Smarties activities on Pinterest/blogs/TpT but most were geared to the younger grades and didn't accomplish everything that I needed to. So I whipped up a little worksheet that we completed together, each student had their own unique pack of Smarties. First the students colored in what their pack looked like and then we wrote the fraction for each color. Next they ordered the fractions from greatest to least and I touched on reduced fractions and equivalencies. Then the students compared the fractions.
As we were working I thought of more that I could have added to the handout, but just had them flip it over and write it on the back. They first wrote their fractions in word form and then they wrote a simple word problem and wrote the solution. I thought it would be great to have them eat certain fractions and so had them put their Smarties into fifths (since there are 15 in a roll they had groups of 3). We talked some more about equivalent fractions and then they ate three-fifths of their Smarties followed by six-fifteens and they were all gone. The lesson went pretty well and the students enjoyed it. The part that they struggled with the most was coloring their roll in the correct order!