A colleague told me about an activity that she had done with her Intro to Algebra Students. She gave them each a card with a fraction on it. She then told them not to talk. They had to order themselves from least to greatest. They could write anything down that they wanted to.
I thought it was an awesome idea. I incorporated it the next day.
The first round I gave them numbers from -12/12, -11/12, -10/12, ...0 ... 10/12, 11/12, 12/12
They did this with only a couple of mistakes in about 4 minutes. I then made cards of the same exact numbers except all were reduced. -1, -11/12, -5/6, -3/4 ... and so on. The second round proved to be a little more difficult than the first round. However, there was a lot of computations going on. There was a lot of movement going on. And furthermore, after they set themselves in order, we checked to see that the order was correct.
And yes, there was some off task behavior when the students were lining up. However, I think they gained a better understanding of what a fraction is and where it belongs than if they had been sitting in their seats watching a fraction lesson.
Extend the Idea:
Give each person in the class an integer on a card. Then I will ask them to pair up with someone else and add their integers. Now ask the class to line up from least to greatest in PAIRS. The students cold multiply the numbers as well.
Move and Learn
Thanks Heidi Heslinga. I appreciate you sharing your idea with me.