Movember- Using Mustaches to Introduce Fractions

On the heels of breast cancer awareness, we turn our attention to all things men’s health in November. This movement is officially called Movember. To celebrate this amazing cause my little students are encouraging their daddies to go to the doctor. 
Slide1 I used these adorable post cards from Creative Teaching Press for my students to write their letters.  
Slide3 Because I teach first and their printing is so large, we did not try to mail these home, rather, they went home in their folders, but if you teach upper grades this is the perfect time to teach all things “address related”
  • Capitalizing first and last names, street names, cities, states
  • Abbreviations (Mr. and St. Dr. CT. etc.)
  • Commas between city and state.
Aside from the capitalizing, we don’t hit most of these things until the end of the year in first grade, so we just skipped the address part.
I wanted to cover some fraction skills with my own little man at home! The idea of fractions is so fun for kids!  He had never heard of fractions before and I love introducing new concepts! So this was particularly fun to plan with him in mind. Slide4
I wrote up some words on mustache labels that we come across in the world of fractions, half, halves, 1/2, third, thirds, 1/3, fourth, fourths, 1/4. We just took a minute to do a sort. Sorts are such a cool way to introduce concepts and topics.  He sorted them into groups he thought went together. He did fabulous!
I every so gently just asked what do you hear as I say, fourth, fourths, and 1/4? I asked gently because I wanted this concept attainment and not direct instruction. I have a pretty sharp kid who is naturally inquisitive, so he was all over it. “4!,”he yelled. Volume control is not in his wheelhouse recently. He is loud, everything is loud, joy is loud, frustration is loud. The TV is loud, videos are loud. God help me everything is LOUD…. I digress…
Then I handed him 10 zip ties and said, “So let’s lay these on top and make fourths”. No information beyond that… just a “Try it!” moment.  Too many zip ties and not too much information. Just him and his thoughts, making meaning. In class I would do this in table groups the exact same way. I used CTPs Mustache Mania Bulletin Board Set for the giant mustaches.
First a sort, sharing of ideas, a little information, and some exploration.
We explored a bit and then I gave him some mini mustaches to actually cut up.
Slide6Until a boy (or any child really)  can destroy/create something the learning is not complete!  It was also the perfect time to introduce the way to write in numbers what we say with our words. I love CTP’s number and letters. They are so easy to use and make boards look amazing!
Slide7 Jackson has been saying he is 7  and a 1/2 for the last 5 months. So all of a sudden he said, “Now I know how to write it!” He wrote it and then paraded around town showing his name tags telling everyone he was 7 and a half and could write it too! We loved the little name labels from Creative Teaching Press.  He ran off with the rest of the name tags saying, “No walls or furniture, I know mamma.”
IMG_3680For all the men in our lives we love you. Please go to the doctor INCLUDING THE DENTIST. Poor dental health can lead to heart attacks.  Please take care of yourself. We love to take care of you, dress you, boss you around, and organize you, but we cannot actually make you go to the doctor. Please just go. We want you around for a GOOD LONG TIME!
If you want to do this fun activity with your students please download this little freebie!
Teacher to the Core freebie on fractions
Download now new

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