Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The magic of Cuisenaire Rods & Equivalent Fractions, Dance snapshot: An overlapping post for Wednesday through Friday

Some theoretical points from the Cuisenaire rods:

The following items have been taken from the literature that came with the rods.  I wanted to read it before looking at the student responses and moving forward.

Our observations and descriptive feedback:

On another level, check out how the Cuisenaire rods can be used to learn some grammar rules associated with learning English.  It is a method known as "Silent Way."  More information can be found here:


Fraction Equivalency:

Hopefully, the idea of equal fractions makes some sense as you have picked and played with the rods. A few weeks ago, when we first were chatting about fractions, we looked at this example:

When I arrive at school today, I will photograph a model of the "chocolate bars" using Cuisenaire rods to show how the idea of equivalency works.  We will then walk through a guided lesson and make some connections to the work you will be responsible for in the textbook. 

An example of Cuisenaire rods in action.  (1/3=6/18)
While the fractions are equivalent, 1/3 is also the simplest form or lowest term of 6/18.  More on the in the lowest term in the video that follows.  By the time you read this, I would have taught you some more about this concept.

In the class is a couple of sets of Fraction Circles that you can play and investigate some of the concepts shared in that video.  

All of these circles, each one being 1.0 are "sliced up" in different ways.

The green portion is still half of a circle at 5/10.  The purple portion is also half but looks like 6/12.
 Before watching the video, look at this last set of fractions.  This fractions that are pictured here can be seen as examples of an equivalent fraction and then being represented in its lowest term.  The Cuisenaire rods help with visualizing these concepts (I hope).  

I am in the process of coming up with a rule for explaining how the lowest term can be expressed for a fraction using the rods.  At this point, I think the reduced fraction must be the same size (length) or rods, but with the least number of rods used.

For example, 6/12 involves the use of 12 cubes, whereas 1/2 only involves the use of 2 rods.
For 3/12, we have 12 cubes, whereas 1/4 only inolves using 4 rods.  

Rob, from Math Antics, take a shot at explaining how fractions are equivalent.  

# 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10

In addition to the class lesson, this may also help with understanding how to reduce fractions to the Lowest/Simplest term.

Dance snapshot:

We will begin our presentations next week.  Here is a short look at the various groups at work.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Some points for Dance & Movement, Harris Burdick, Oral Communication game starter, "Screenagers," some gaming sites & review questions for Surface Area and Volume, returning to Fractions with Cuisenaire rods


Dance improvisation is the process of spontaneously creating movement. Development of improvised movement material is facilitated through a variety of creative explorations including body mapping through levels, shape and dynamics schema.  From:
An example of interpreting a piece of Literature, through Dance and Movement:

We took some of this inspiration and a look a look at the Success Criteria, outside to work on developing the project ideas some more:


Harris Burdick:  More information and Success Criteria

When I forgot my camera at home on Friday, I could not upload this shot of some pre-writing that was mandatory before a draft was started:

This was based on a sample series of narrative paragraphs I composed (pictured in lower left part of the image). 

Screenagers (Documentary) screening at Bloor CI:

This is a little short notice, but this film is being shown tomorrow night at Bloor Collegiate.  If you are unable to make it, the class will be going to see it on the afternoon on June 5.

Oral Communication exercise:

In an attempt to get some more people actively involved in speaking, we will try an exercise I learned from my son and daughter's dance and theatre school.

Review Games for upcoming Math test:

As I mentioned before the EQAO assessment, we would be returning to some items in Math.  This is a bit of review for the Measurement strand for tomorrow's quiz.

Surface Area
A few students asked about some review questions for tomorrow's test.  Here they are, along with the solutions for the volume and surface area of the prisms:

Return to Fractions: 

In the Number Sense strand, we will return to our look at fractions.  We'll spend a little time with some hands-on work with Cuisenaire Rods:

Once we look over some of the "discoveries" from playing with the rods, we will move on to reviewing the key concepts for fractions in Grade 6.


The homework page some of the students started.  They will be formally assigned tomorrow.

Remember to Study!!  Image from:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cereal Boxes

Excellent work.  8 projects are still missing from the class,  This is a joint Language and Art assignment.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fractions, Probability, and post EQAO teaching

question e) should be 27
As the EQAO assessment winds up tomorrow, we will return to these items, and then some, before the end of the school year.  Have a great rest tonight.

Monday, May 22, 2017

EQAO Assessment week, Eco Play day, filling in the blanks, Eco Film Festival, Acting opportunity

Math EQAO answers

It won't be until Thursday until the start of the Math portion of EQAO and hoping we will have some time for some review. Here is some of the work we looked at from last week:

Could a fidget spinner help your child during EQAO test week? 

Eco Fun Play Date

It was great to see some former Dovercourt and, in my case, Alexander Muir Gladstone, students out to host a fun playdate on Friday.  Here are a few shots from the day:

Last minute advice:

Fractions, percentages...

20 tickets have been set aside for our school.  11 have been accounted for and 9 remain.  Please return the permission letter (sent out on Friday) to take in our exciting film at the gala event!

Acting opportunity:

In the Fall, we visited the Regent Park Film Festival.  One of the films, which was part of the Grade 7 & 8 program was done by filmaker Alicia Harris.   She is working on another film and I am trying to spread the word of actors who may welcome the opportunity to audition for a role!