## Tuesday, May 1, 2012

### A Variety Pack Kind of Day: Spring Festival, Renaissance Learning, and Butterfly Fractions

This original post is from 2012. I had to edit and it reposted.

We were very pleased to host the CEO of Renaissance Learning, Glenn James, and his staff at our school's annual Spring Festival.

It was nice to have a sit down discussion about Renaissance products with them and how we as teachers use them in our classrooms. We also offered input of additional things we thought would enhance their products.

Spring Festival

Our students performed traditional dances for the community at the festival. They did such a good job!!!

Butterfly Fractions (Addition and Subtraction)

I am super excited about this! I can't believe I have never seen this method of adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.  In some cases the students will still have to reduce to lowest terms.  But this will make this objective so much more manageable!!!
Notice...I do teach the conceptual knowledge of fractions. I use many hands on materials and teach a variety of ways to solve problems. I also like to give students a shortcut after they have learned how to work the problems.

Click here to look at the examples on the original site:  Butterfly Fractions

1. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I have about 1/2 of my small fifth grade class that are still struggling with equivalent fractions - I really think that Butterfly Fractions will click for them! Thank you again!

1. You are SO welcome. I was excited when I stumbled upon it myself. I also let the kids use this to compare fractions. Just draw the wings.

2. Thank you for posting this!!!! Really made my day so much easier!!

1. Glad I found it too!!

3. Please stop teaching this. This is why HS students have no conceptual knowledge. Reference Phil Daro please.

1. I do teach the conceptual knowledge of fractions. I use many hands on materials and teach a variety of ways to solve problems. I also like to give students a shortcut after they have learned how to work the problems.

4. Butterfly fractions are easy for the students but hinders their understanding of what a fraction represents. Conceptual understanding of fractions is too important to be replaced by tricks and easy answers.

1. I do teach the conceptual knowledge of fractions. I use many hands on materials and teach a variety of ways to solve problems. I also like to give students a shortcut after they have learned how to work the problems.

5. Seems to go against what Common Core is all about. This does not help students understand the concept. If they forget the trick, they will be at a loss. Have you ever considered changing the fractions to decimals? .75 + .40 = 1.15 = 1 15/100 = 1 3/20. It is important for students to know the common fraction-to-decimal equivalents.

1. I do teach the conceptual knowledge of fractions. I use many hands on materials and teach a variety of ways to solve problems. I also like to give students a shortcut after they have learned how to work the problems.

6. I agree with Meredith. First, ensure that student get the concept down - the "why" behind the core knowledge. Then, teach them the shortcut. Some students can handle both; others, only one. You know what your students can handle. Meredith is showing yet another way to solve a problem. Isn't that what math is all about - Common Core or otherwise? This is what we adults do in real life - find a more efficient way to solve a problem.