Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dividing Fractions - Part Two

            “Dun da-da DAH!”

            I looked up towards the sound.  Landon stood in the doorway with a big grin on his face holding his test out with a stiff right arm.

            He goose stepped towards me singing.  “It’s Friday, Friday, got to get home on Friday . . .”  His head bobbed back and forth keeping time.

            As he came closer, I could see the happy lime green Sharpie markings.

            “You got a 54%?”

            The smile dropped off his face.  “Is that bad?”


            Landon put his tongue between his lips and made a fart sound.

            “Sit down.  Let’s do your corrections.”

            Bad news does not weigh Landon down very long.  He pulled out a chair and resumed singing.  “It’s Friday, Friday, I’m going home on Friday. . .”

            “OK Landon.  Look over at the board.  What are the things you need to remember?  And you need to stop singing, please.”

            Landon turned around and stared at the reminders still posted on the white board.

Change everything to a fraction
Keep, Change, Flip

Word Problems:  What are you dividing?
Put it first

 His singing had stopped, but his head continued bouncing back in forth.  The song played on, but it was beyond my reach.

            “Here’s the first problem you missed.  Copy it on to this separate sheet.”  I slid a clean piece of notebook paper in front of him and watched Landon copy 1-1/2 divided by 2-1/4.  “What do you do first?”

            Landon tapped “1-1/2” with his pencil.  His pencil taps softly kept time to, “Friday, Friday . . .”

            “OK.  Change it to a fraction.”

            Landon’s head bobbed back and forth, keeping time to his inner music as he softly said, “Two times one is two, plus one is three.”

            I watched as he wrote down 2/3.

            Now I tapped with my pencil.  “How does 1-1/2 become 2/3?”

            Landon turned and looked at me like I had lost my mind.  “You flip it!”

            “That’s step two.  You don’t flip until step two.  And you only flip the second one.  Remember Keep, Change, Fuuulip.”

            Landon’s inner music turned down a few notches, but his head continued the beat as he stared at his problem.  Then he turned to me and smiled.  His tongue went between his lips and out came his fart sound. 

            “My bad.”

            The music continued in Landon’s head.  I continued tapping his mistakes with my pencil, and Landon continued acknowledging them with his fart sound until his entire test was corrected.

            “Now go give this back to your teacher.”

            “Thanks Mrs. Jones.”

            “You’re welcomed.  Have a good weekend.”

            It’s Friday, Friday, got to get down on Friday.

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