Names/Games Chart and Tournaments
Names/Games Chart
Each fall at the beginning of the school year, Mr. Schiot introduced Fraction Bars games to the students. He ran off copies of the games and passed them out to individual students. Each student was responsible for a game and encouraged to revise it before teaching it to others. This is an example of Mr. Schiot's teaching practice of empowering students and giving them ownership. A large wall grid with the names of the students along the left edge (see below) and the games along the top edge showed who was responsible for each game and which students had played the game. As examples, Emily (EW) was responsible for the game Double or Nothing and she played this game with each of the other students; Dan and Amy were responsible for Fraction Bingo, etc. Students played the games when their class work was finished, and occasionally there were special game times set aside. The Names/Games Chart was completed by the midyear holidays and when the students returned to class in January they started on the Fraction Bars worksheets from the Teacher's Resource Package.
Another means of creating interest in the games is through tournaments. The following tournament was organized by Mr. Schiot’s fifth graders and they designed the playoff brackets. Notice that the pairing of the players does not follow the usual patterns and there are no byes. Also, it was the students’ idea to have a Winner’s Champion and a Loser’s Champion. The idea of a "Losers Champion" was discussed in detail by the class and one student said it should be the "Nonwinners Champion" because who would want to be known as a "Champion Loser"!
When the students return in January after the holiday vacation, they begin the worksheets from the Teacher Resource Package. The worksheets are classified into eight sections, one for each of the eight major topics (basic concepts, equality, inequality, the four operations, and Fractions-Decimals-Percents). Each section of worksheets is preceded by a full-page cartoon related to the topic. The worksheets for each section are sometimes bound together in a booklet by the students. Here is a sample.