Today, my pre-algebra class began work on adding or subtracting fractions with like denominators. They've had it before in middle school and elementary school but they still have problems with it. S
o I started class by asking what do we mean when we say "like denominators". Most students either looked blank or shrugged.
I told them that someone dropped a letter and its really "alike" denominators. It was amazing how they suddenly looked less confused and more understanding. So I worked a couple problems on the board to show them that they are less likely to accidentally add denominators if they rewrite the problems to have only one denominator.
Although most worked slowly, I had fewer "What do I do next." I found that awesome. About 10 minutes before the bell, I put the students on Pirate Fractions and tomorrow, I"ll put them on another fractions app to give them additional support and help build a stronger foundation.