Prefixes, Root Words & Etymology + Fractions! Awesome Day!

04 Mar

I apologize for not posting for a few weeks.  Things got busy and….you all know how that is.  We are back on track with blogging and I will try to post at least twice a week.

In English we have been looking at prefixes, root words and etymology.  Etymology is the study of words, their history, their origin and how the form and meaning  have changed over the years.    Wikipedia

We have been looking at prefixes such as:   un-  dis-  im-  in-  ir- & non- which all affect roots words in similar ways, changing the meaning to its opposite.  For example, irresponsible means not responsible, dislike means to not like, impossible means impossible.  We also looked at ex- meaning out of or from or upwards.  Words like expand means to spread out.  Some prefixes and roots can be quite complicated because they come from latin, old French or Old English  or other languages.  We can’t always rely on the trick of thinking “Can the root word stand alone?” like in nonsense; sense can stand alone and non- changes the meaning to its opposite.  See this example from the online etymology dicitonary for expand:

Fractions!

I love fractions.  Really.  I know they are a challenge but once kids get it – WOW!  It is critically important that students understand the value of fractions, can compare fractions, understand equivalency, etc.

Friday we talked about the set model or concept of fractions.  We had a discussion about the fractions of girls and boys in our class.  The class, or set, is 26 people so 26 is the whole or 1.  The girls are part of the set, 20 out of 26 to be exact and the boys are another part of the set, 6 out of 26.  Here is our chart to represent the set model based on the students in the class:

Today we made our Fraction Kits which are based on the linear model of fractions.  The black strip is 1 or the whole, and the other colours are different parts, or fractions, of the whole:

After we made the kits, which helps students understand equivalency, we played a game called Cover Up.  Here are the rules:

This game helps students to compare the value of fractions and to understand equivalency.  Tomorrow we play uncover!  Here are some students playing cover up: