Dividers- Math Grade 5-9

learning skilLS

instructional strategy
Use the option of placing dividers between desks to minimize distractions

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Use noise cancelling headphones to minimize distractions when solving complex problems

academic skill

Grade 6 – 9

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions and rational numbers.

Lesson Objective, Goal and Success Criteria

  1. Identify alternative ways to solve complex problems involving the addition and subtraction of fractions.
  2. Identify alternative ways to solve complex problems involving the multiplication and division of fractions.
  3. Identify alternative ways to solve complex problems involving positive and negative fractions and mixed numbers
  • Grade 5-7- Be able to add and subtract fractions with like and unlike denominators and address challenges of dealing with complex problems while working in distracting environments.
  • Grade 8- Be able to multiply and divide fractions by fractions and address challenges of dealing with complex problems while working in distracting environments.
  • Grade 9- Be able to solve problems involving positive and negative fractions (rational numbers) and address challenges with complex problems while working in distracting environments.
Successfully resolve a set of fraction questions based on each student’s ability level within a distracting environment.

UDL Instruction

Teaching a complex lesson which requires a lot of focus might be difficult for students who experience deficiencies in sustained attention so it will require keeping them engaged to both process and apply the information. This can be achieved through active learning in the retention process and minimizing distractions in the environment. 

Full Class Lesson Teach 2-3 concepts related to fractions for each grade/ability level starting from the simplest to most complex problems using videos with embedded practice questions.  After the first concept, pose the question (within the video) to the class and have the students do a think-pair-share with the person beside them to try to answer each question. Repeat this activity until all concepts are taught.  Each student is then provided with 5 different questions related to that concept and then goes to an assigned section of the class to solve the answers based on guidelines in the differentiated section.

Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated through content, process and product

Preparation: Each student will have different questions (worksheets included) so none of the students will have exactly the same question or know which students have easier or harder questions to eliminate stigmatization. 

Students will be placed in one of the 4 environments of their choice. A rotating system can be used so different students get first choice of the environment for subsequent lessons. The 4 environments include:
  • Wearing noise canceling headphones at their desk 
  • Using a desk divider on their desk to eliminate distractions around them 
  • Sitting at a regular desk without a divider or headphones
  • Go to a small group table where the teacher or assistant is sitting to help those who would like extra help.
Completing the Activity: Before starting the questions, the students will do one short stretch to keep them focused. 
  • Each student will work independently on their own questions but they will each get 5 sticky post-it notes to write down questions that they had difficulty understanding.
  • If the student doesn’t know how to answer a question, the student can either go to the small group table with the teacher or they can just write down the question that was difficult on a post it note (to be reviewed later).
  • After students have sufficient time to complete the questions, the teacher will go around and collect the post-it notes from the students and post them randomly on a board at the front so a student will not feel they are the only one with questions

Measurement of Success

  • The teacher will also post a list of answers on the board so students can self check their answers. 
  • The teacher will first review all the questions and answers from the collected post-it notes and then ask the students if there are any other questions they want reviewed.

Materials, References and Resources

Noise canceling headphones– $32.99 for 3 pairs- Amazon Desk Dividers- $19.97 for 4 dividers- Amazon Post-it Sticky Note Pads- $2.00 – Dollar store
Ikuta, N., Iwanaga, R., Tokunaga, A., Nakane, H., Tanaka, K., Tanaka, G. (2016). Effectiveness of Earmuffs and Noise-canceling Headphones for Coping with Hyper-reactivity to Auditory Stimuli in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Preliminary Study. Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy. 28, 24-32. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1016/j.hkjot.2016.09.001

Jones, E.K., Hanley, M., Riby, D. Distraction, distress and diversity: Exploring the impact of sensory processing differences on learning and school life for pupils with autism spectrum disorders, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Volume 72, 2020,01515, ISSN 1750-9467, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2020.101515.

How to Multiply and Divide Fractions – Math with Mr. J.

Multiply and Divide Mixed Numbers

Adding and Subtracting Negative Fractions

Multiply Negative Fractions

Divide Negative Fractions

Grade 5-7

Grade 8

Grade 9

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