Adding and Subtracting Fractions

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: Khan Academy. Adding and Subtracting Fractions. 2007.

This video teaches how to add and subtract fractions using patterns, relationships, and rules. It includes four examples and basic vocabulary.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 86.7

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This video is presented mainly in first-person lecture format, focusing on the many ways that fractions can be combined. It teaches skills needed to pass the GED. The media is 6th grade level.

Content Area: Math-Fractions

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text; #3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text; #7 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently; #9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably; #10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a good lesson to use in Math Curriculum. It is best suited to 4th grade through 8th grade. It explores basic work using fractions.

Supporting Digital Content:


Everyday Algebra Lesson Plan

Media Item

Bibliographic Information: PBS Learning Media. Everyday Algebra Lesson Plan. 2002.

This lesson teaches algebra using patterns, relationships, and rules. It includes three videos, several worksheets, and additional online activities.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 50.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This video is presented mainly in second-person lecture format, focusing on the details of algebra that trip up students. It teaches skills needed to pass the GED. The media is 9th grade level.

Content Area: Math-Algebra

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for 6-12: #2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms; #4  Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context; #5 Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas; #9 Synthesize information from a range of sources; #10 Read and comprehend science/technical texts in appropriate grades.
  • CCSS for Writing for 6-12: #9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • CCSS for Language 6-12:  #3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening; #4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a good lesson to use in Math Curriculum. It is best suited to 9th grade through 12th grade. It explores basic algebra.

Supporting Digital Content:

How Big Is A Foot?

One Math picture book

Bibliographic Information: Myller, Rolf. How Big Is A Foot? New York: Yearling, 1962.

Plot Description:
A King and Queen were happy. The Queen’s birthday was approaching, so the King decided he would give her a bed. He asked the Prime Minister, sho asked the Chief Carpenter, who told his apprentice to make a bed. But they all passed a question back up: How big is a bed? The King asked the Queen to lay down, and he walked, barefoot, around her, determining that the bed should be three feet wide and six feet long. This measurement was passed back down to the small apprentice, who measured using his own feet. The bed was not big enough for the Queen, and the apprentice was thrown in jail. He thought and realized that the King’s feet were bigger than his; if he knew the size of the King’s foot, he could make a bed for the Queen. The King had a stone copy of one foot made. The apprentice made a new bed, and it fit the Queen perfectly. Thereafter, anyone who wanted to measure anything used a copy of the King’s foot.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 660; Accelerated Reader: 4.0

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
The language was very simple and very repetitive. The word “apprentice” is the most complicated word in this story. Sometimes an entire page was one sentence, but kids will easily fall into the rhythm of “…told the Prime Minister, who told the Chief Carpenter, who…”

Content Area: Math-Measurement

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for K-5: #1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.; #7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot; #10 Read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, at appropriate grade level.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a cute picture book to use as a way to teach measurement. It is best suited to 3rd grade and below. It can help kids learn both how measurements are set, and relative measuring.

“Gifted” kids do not, in fact, have all the fun.

If an average student got a B, it was cause for celebration, but if I got an A I was simply meeting expectations.

This attitude really sticks in my craw. When my elementary classmates [who weren’t “gifted”] got A’s, their parents rewarded them; some got money, some got a special meal. I know, because they would brag about it the next day at school. When I got an A, my parents said, “Oh, good.” I merely met their expectations. “Checkmark, our kid is maintaining the expected average. Back to the news on the TV.” It made me feel that my grades didn’t matter, that I didn’t matter.

My parents often told me the standard line, “You don’t have to be the best, you just have to try your best.” Hah, what a joke. When “my best” wasn’t an A, The Inquisition™ always happened. What did I do incorrect? Did I study the wrong material? Was I slacking? On and on and on.

In high school algebra I got my first B, and I cried for hours. Obviously, there was something wrong with me. There was no way it couldn’t be my fault; no matter that the teacher didn’t like me, nor that my previous maths didn’t prepare me. I had to be deficiant, somehow.

It was a revelation when I learned in college how “normal people” study. Just the minimum? How did they expect to pass anything? Then I tried it. Suddenly I had free time. I could read, or play on the computer, or anything. Since I always took copious notes in lecture, I had my studying already done.

It’s ridiculous, my grad program is entirely online, and I’ve never studied less in my life. I can read, hang out with friends, go dancing, and spend hours online if I so desire.

“Gifted” kids reading this: I implore you, don’t study more, study smarter. Find a studying method that works for you but also lets you live, and don’t take shit from anyone. Younger me was miserable. Don’t be younger me. Please. Be someone that future you won’t pity.

Parents of “gifted” kids reading this: ease up on the whip. Thanks.