Thursday, December 5, 2013

Penguin Fractions

I am very excited to finally share with you all my Penguin Fractions Craftivity and how I used it in our resource room! It is currently my best selling item on my TPT store and I pretty proud of how it turned out.

A few weeks ago I started taking over teaching the fourth grade math group in our resource room. As soon as I did, I got to work on this craftivity. I love penguins and I love incorporating crafts into my lessons. After some heavy review of fractions, my group of kiddos loved the break from our normal session routine to do this craft.

Here is the gist of how the activity went and what I learned along the way.

First, students cut their shapes into various fractions and glued them down per the directions. I had created a model for students to reference placement of the first few pieces so we wouldn't end up with penguins hanging off the sheet. 

While my group was significantly smaller than a whole class activity, they have a number of quirks that can make activities like this particularly tough. Though they are forth graders, their behaviors often seem more along the lines of second graders. 

One thing I learned, have plenty of extra shapes ready! I had two sets of pieces for each student and I still ran out of some pieces (though in a Gen Ed class it probably wouldn't be that dramatic.)

Second thing I learned, kids do not instinctively think the way I do. When instructed to cut a shape into four equal pieces, I expected students to draw out the shape and then cut. (I know, I know. Naive move, Kayla.) My kiddos were so eager that they jumped right into chopping away pieces before they finished reading the first direction. (Hence the reason I ran out of spare pieces!)

This did lead to the perfect time to review with my group how we read and follow a set of instructions. It was easier said than done for some of them but we were successful.

Once we had our penguins glued down and drying, students completed one of the two worksheets I designed. They were asked to use the penguin craft to determine different fractions within the picture. We looked at fractions of a shape: The wing is made of 1/2 a circle. And we also looked at fractions of a set of objects: 3/8 of the snowflakes are blue.

For my first time trying out an activity like this, I would call it a win! I am glad I was able to use it with my small group of 6 IEP kiddos before trying a whole class because I could see exactly where a lower level student might struggle and what instructional changes I would make when presenting it next time.

Once students completed their worksheets on the second day, they received a bow to decorate and add to their penguin (if they wanted to.) If you couldn't tell, our group only has one boy so we had lots of girly penguins! I think our little penguin family turned out pretty cute. 



  1. Those are adorable! I love the idea of letting them add a bow to their finished product as well. I bet they were very proud of their masterpieces!
    Crafting Connections

  2. What a great idea! I love how it fit your lesson, but also goes with the season.


  3. I love this!! thanks so much for linking up! I hope you will continue! :)