# Fractions of amounts observation!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by s0700452, Feb 9, 2012.

1. ### s0700452

I am being observed by the head after half term. I teach bottom set year 3. I am in the process of teaching fractions of shapes and equivalent fractions. They are all doing really well and are understanding (lets just hope they don't forget it all over half term).
I would now like to move onto fractions of amounts. The focus of the observation is mental maths throughout the lesson (which I am already slightly confused about).
For the LA I was thinking of having a pizza base cut into halves or quarters. Using cut up tomatoes I would say 'what is half of 8?', they then share out 8 tomatoes between the pizza pieces. I would then like to extend the MA by saying find 3/4 of 8? But I feel this is not mental maths?? I am not sure. Getting in a muddle.
Any ideas??

I disagree.
Children cannot learn a mental method, such as finding 3/4 of an amount, unless they do hands on practical and drawing the problem. These activities will lead to good mental methods.

3. ### minnieminxNew commenter

I also think there will be mental methods throughout this lesson. The counting/sharing out of the tomatoes, the counting in groups to get the 3/4 are all mental skills. Your MA may also be able to use such low numbers in their head.

4. ### sallysparrow

surely you need to consolidate what they have already done by practising and using and applying rather than teaching more different thiings - this is why so many children forget - they haven't had the chance to consolidate and put into practise what they have learnt.

5. ### minnieminxNew commenter

But if the class have, as stated, done well and are ready to move on then it would be silly to start back on the same things after the holiday.

6. ### s0700452

Thank you for all your replies.
It is the deputy in the school who said the focus will be mental maths - he is very hot on maths and knows exactly what he wants. However, it is the head who is observing me (maths isn't her strong subject), when I asked her what she is looking for she just said 'an all singing and dancing lesson which engages the children' with no mention of the mental maths side.
I just feel that with bottom set year 3 they need concrete objects and learn visually - unless anyone else has found otherwise?
Maybe I could ask my MA to find 1/4 of 8, 1/2 of 8, 3/4 of 8 - see if they notice a pattern with the jumps it is going up in.
Thank you again for your replies

7. ### robyn147

Is that what teaching has come to?
What about a lesson that engages and enables them to make progress?