February 20, 2018

The Quarter File

I recently created something called the "Quarter File" and we started working on it last week. I'm really excited to teach the boys and girls all the ways we use quarters in our lives. We're going to have a five-day mini-Math unit right before we start Unit 6 (Measurement).

Understanding quarters and fourths can really give students a leg-up in terms of their problem solving skills.  For example, when you understand that 250mL is 1/4 of a litre, you'd have no trouble with the problem below:

Paul drank 1L of chocolate milk. 
Patti drank 250 mL of chocolate milk.
Who drank more and how do you know?  

An understanding of quarters helps kids easily solve problems like this too: 

Patti worked on her homework for 1/4 of an hour. 
Paul worked on his homework for 1/2 an hour. 
How many minutes did each person work on their homework for?  

I had mentioned to the class earlier in the year that quarters seem to come up a lot in Grade Three (e.g. a 1/4 of a circle, what's a 1/4 of 16, 25 cents is a quarter of a dollar). We joked that it should be a Grade Four thing and that we should focus on thirds in Grade Three!  

We're about to begin a new unit on Measurement and I thought this was the perfect time to look at all the ways we use quarters in Grade Three. This folder will be a really nice resource for students to refer back to as we move through the rest of the year. 

Sometimes, we like students to reach their own conclusions when it comes to making connections from one math concept to another. It's exciting for them to have those "a-ha" moments.  Other times, it's a good idea to explicitly teach them, so students can have that knowledge in advance and then apply it to problem solving.  

I'm hoping that after learning about quarters and all the ways we use them in Math, they'll also start noticing connections in other Mathematical concepts.  When we take the mystery of Math away, we really do help students understand how numbers work, which in turn, can bring about a whole new level of confidence for kids. 

If you are a teacher yourself who is interested in doing trying the Quarter-Folder with your own class, you can grab your own copy here!  Please note, instructions are not provided; please use the photos here to assist you in assembling the folder.  

Front of folder. Students colour, cut apart
and glue each section. 

Inside folder: left side

Inside folder: right side

Back of folder


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