Monday, January 13, 2014

Mathematical Monday- Mobiles

Happy Monday, everyone!

I'm linking up with I {heart} Recess for Mathematical Monday!  Today I wanted to share with you a project that a 4th grade teacher at my school did with her kiddos.

The concept?  Fractions, fraction models, decimals, and word representations.

The delivery?  A mobile to show equivalent fractions and decimals.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

-- Printed fractions, decimals, picture representations, and words for each fraction (she used 1, 3/4, 1/2, 2/4, 1/4, and 0).  She printed them on different colored card stock- so kids could tell the difference between each type of card.

-- Sticks (she collected them from her backyard)- Each student needs 1 stick (clothes hangers or wooden dowels would work well, too).

-- 5 pieces of yarn (each about 18 inches long)

-- scissors and glue

Here's how they did it:

1) Students first laid out their four strings and began sorting their decimal and fraction cards.  At the top of the string was the fraction, then the picture representation, then the words, and finally the decimal towards the bottom of the string.

Each string should have a fraction, decimal, words, and picture representation that are equivalent.  The strings should also be in order from smallest to largest (not mixed up).

2)  Once they had their cards where they needed to be, they began to glue the cards to the string.  They glued a fraction or decimal card on the front and back of the string, for stability and easier viewing.

3) Tie the strings on to the sticks.  For display, you might want to tie one more string to each side of the stick for hanging.

I like that students did not have to spend any time writing or creating the cards for the mobiles.  Their main focus was to identify equivalent fractions and decimals and assemble the mobile.

While the 4th graders used fractions and decimals as the focus of their mobiles, mobiles can be modified for oodles of content areas!

equivalent fractions and fraction models
alphabetizing words
food chains in different ecosystems (each string has a different ecosystem)
musical instrument families
vocabulary words and definitions
ordering objects of different sizes
retelling stories
sorting colors (each string has objects of the same color)

Have you ever made mobiles in your classroom?  How do you think you can apply the idea to your grade level or content area?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward


  1. Hi Ellie! I saw you linked-up over at I Heart Recess for Mathematical Monday! What fun mobiles! I always want to do more projects like that related to Math and never seem to have the time!

    Kate :)
    McDee's Busy Bees

    1. Thanks Kate! The 4th graders really enjoyed creating them! Time is always an issue for crafty things, but I make them fit into my schedule! :)

  2. Thanks for linking up! LOVE, LOVE this idea! I am going to have to remember this when we get to fractions!


    1. Thanks for hosting, Jess! I loved this idea when I saw my co-worker do it. I am excited to try it with other content areas, too! :) I look forward to linking up next week, too!



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