“Why do they need to learn to divide fractions by hand when they all have phones and calculators that will do it for them?”
“When will they ever be in a position in the real world where they won’t be able to use the calculator on their phone?”
Don’t Fight Technology!
Let me start by saying when it comes to technology and trying to fight technology advances I am a firm believer that it is our job to make sure our students are prepared for the world that they will be thrown into after graduation.
With that said. There are HUGE decisions we have to make as teachers. When is it ok to let them rely on technology? When should we force them to learn to do the math by hand? How do we make these decisions?
Dividing Fractions on a Calculator
Let me give you an example…
Our students have phones in their pockets that can do any kind of arithmetic they ask it to do. As the years go on these phones and devices will only do more and more of it for them. Another example, I am a father of 3 and all of my children are either graduated or getting close (That should give a clue as to my age 🙂).
I can not tell you the last time I used a check. I have never in my life had to balance a check book. Why? Because I have technology that does those things for me. I need to know how to check that all the numbers are correct but not balance a book.
My point is the things we learned in school are not the same as the things our kids and our kids kids will need to learn to succeed in the real world.
How to Make the Technology Prediction
So how do we foresee what our students will need to be able to do and what will technology do for them?
Here is how I make the decision. If it is something that I feel will help them with other areas of life or in other classes they need to know how to do it by hand. Math is about learning to think and solve puzzles. It’s about learning to think outside the box, follow rules, deciding how to be efficient and so on.
It is our job to make sure our students know how to succeed in doing these things when they leave our class.
Division of Fractions Rules
Learning how to divide fractions is one of the things I feel is absolutely imperative. Why? Because math is all about being efficient and I do not care what kind of calculator, phone, or tablet you have. If there is a point in a math problem where I have to divide fractions I can do it FASTER by hand than I can by typing it into a calculator.
Make Them Be Efficient
Like I said, math is about being efficient and teaching our students to be efficient is one of the most important life lessons we can teach them. If they know how to divide fractions by hand they can literally see and feel the difference.
Dividing Fractions Game
Don’t believe me?
Split your students into two groups. Give one group a set of calculators. Give the others a piece of paper and pencil.
Give both groups the same set of questions. Tell group one to do them by hand or in their head. Tell group 2 to use the calculator on every problem.
The group doing them by hand will win every time is all else is equal.
If you don’t have a bunch of time to do this you could also do good old fashion “Math Downs” and have them race that way. One line with calculators and one without. Group two will spend so much time typing it in their calculator or phone that the group one will always win.
Here are some Activities involving the Division of Fractions
We are giving you the dividing fractions activities pdf files but in order to get the Editable Versions and the Answer Keys you will need to Join the Math Teacher Community.
Division of Fractions Homework Assignment
2-1 Dividing Fractions Worksheet Answers (Members Only)
Division of Fractions Bell Ringer
2-1 Dividing Fractions Bell Ringer Answers (Members Only)
Division of Fractions Quiz
2-1 Dividing Fractions Exit Quiz Answers (Members Only)
Division of Fractions Guided Notes
2-1 Dividing Fractions Guided Notes Teacher Edition (Members Only)
Division of Fractions Interactive Notebook
Division of Fractions PowerPoint Presentation
Division of Fractions Lesson Plan
2-1 Dividing Fractions Common Core Lesson Plan (Members Only)
Division of Fractions Online Activities
2-1 Dividing Fractions Online Activities (Members Only)
To get Access to the Editable Files for these Operations Including Division of Fractions Answer Keys and Worksheets you will need to Join the Math Teacher Coach Community. You can learn more about the Math Teacher Coach Community and our Curriculum by Clicking Here.
These Activities for Teaching the Operations Including Division of Fractions Come From Our 6th Grade Math PreAlgebra Curriculum
Unit 2 – Operations Including Division of Fractions
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