What is it?
Students first encounter operations with fractions in primary school, and yet I have taught many Year 11s who still require practice some seven years later. In such situations, it is important to keep the practice as varied as possible, so that students who have had bad experiences with fractions in the past do not immediately assume that they also will not be able to do it this time around. That is why I love this resource. Students have the opportunity to practice all four operations – first with proper fractions, then with mixed number fractions – in the context of a gem of Connect 4. There is an answer grid provided, but students are not told which answer goes with which question, hence the opponent has every incentive to carefully check their rival’s work.
How can it be used?
An activity like this would work really well at the end of a unit on fraction operations, or as a revision activity for a class who have studied this in the past. The danger with games is that students think more about the game than the maths involved, but this should not be the case here. Reminding students that they need to check each other’s work is a good way to ensure both parties pay full attention for all of the game, instead of each merely being interested in their own move. I also like to give each student a Calculator Token, which can be exchanged one to check an opponent’s answer. This has the added advantage of encouraging students to carefully consider when best to use this support, which helps them evaluate the complexity of each question.
Thanks so much for sharing