What if I told you there was a way you could teach frequency adverbs and changing percentages into fractions with the same activity? Perhaps even in the same day (depending on how much time you have with students, though I recommend spreading it over two days).
That would be amazing, right? I have good news for you: it’s possible and I’m going to share with you all the details so you can give it a try yourself.
To start, teach or review the frequency adverbs with your students. I like to use this free poster/handout that uses percentages to represent the various frequency adverbs. Once students are familiar with the terms, it’s time to practice them by talking about our habits.
I have an activity/game set that I like to use when practicing frequency adverbs. The entire set is called Adverbs of Frequency: How Often Do You? There are five different activities in the set, but all reference the same 12 life activities: ride the bus, watch TV, read a book, eat breakfast, drink coffee, eat dessert, exercise, get a haircut, talk on the phone, go to the movie theater, take vitamins, and grocery shop.
I decide which of the five different activities I want to use based on which would be best for a particular group of students. The activity options are:
- Scoot: I place full size frequency adverb posters in five different areas of the room. Students then move (scoot) to the correct area when I call out or show an activity. I then call on one or two students to express their frequency responses in a complete sentence (i.e.: I rarely ride the bus.).
- Clip It: I give each student five different colors of clothes pins, one for each different adverb of frequency (this can also be done with sticky notes), and place the large activity cards around the room. Students move around the room, placing their clothes pins on each card to represent how often they do each activity. I find it helps students if I put a color key on the board for them to reference as they go. After students have finished, we discuss how often the majority of the class does each activity.
- Sort It: I supply each group of students with five different colored containers (large plastic cups or paper plates work well), one color for each frequency adverb. I also provide each group of four to six students with a set of small activity cards. Students take turns drawing a card and expressing in a complete sentence how often they do that activity before placing it into the corresponding container.
- Roll It: I give each group of four to six students a six-sided die, a set of small activity cards, and a reference card. Students take turns rolling the die, choosing an activity, and making a sentence using the adverb rolled and activity chosen. If sentences are grammatically correct, the student keeps the card. If not, the card goes back into the pile.
- Cover Up: Cover up games are very popular in my class. In this version, I give each pair of students a cover up board, a twelve-sided die, and a set of covers (8 covers per student, each student needs a different color). Popular covers in my class include milk jug lids, counters, mini erasers, and marking X’s with dry erase markers. Students play by taking turns rolling the die. If the number rolled is not covered, the student can say a sentence about the activity shown in the corresponding square. If the sentence is correct, the student covers the space with one of his/her covers. If the sentence is not correct, or the space is already covered, the turn is forfeited. Once all the squares have been covered, the student with the most markers on the board is the winner.
When it came time to take this activity digital, I considered a lot of options. I thought about a digital cover up game, a digital Scattergories game, or a set of digital task cards. None of these options would lead to the conversations I wanted though, so I ended up creating a drag-and-drop activity.
This particular activity includes a section of empty boxes for students to type their names into. Each box is able to be dragged and dropped into the sections labeled with frequency adverbs. As we work through the activity, students move their name box (I have them add their names on the first slide and then I quickly copy and paste them onto all of the subsequent slides) into the correct section for them. I then call on a few students to express their tendency with a complete sentence. It’s a quick and easy way for students to still use the same basic activity while learning remotely.
Percentages to Fractions
Once students have a good understanding of frequency adverbs, it’s time to bring in the math. I like to do this part the next day or week because it gives me an opportunity to review what we just learned with frequency adverbs.
I always start out with a review of vocabulary (this free poster is a good one to keep around for fraction vocabulary). I also introduce, or review, how to convert a percentage into a fraction. This fold up activity is a fun way of doing that. Once I’m reasonably sure students have at least a general idea of how to convert a percentage into a fraction, it’s time to return to our frequency adverbs.
It is the students’ responses that we use for our math practice. Once everyone has submitted the form, we check the summary section of the responses to see what percentage of our class selected each frequency adverb for each activity.
Students then work in groups to convert each percentage into a fraction and write a sentence (ex.: Thirty percent of us often ride the bus.). Since there are twelve activities in the form, and five possible responses for each activity, that could result in as many as 60 different conversions. In my experience, that rarely happens. Most of the activities have only two or three adverbs chosen for them. The students live in the same geographic area and tend to come from similar socio-economic backgrounds, meaning that their daily lives are actually fairly similar. If you feel there are too many percentages to be converted, you can assign each group a certain number of activities, thereby reducing the number of conversions.
There you have it, how I teach grammar and math with a single activity. My students get practice with frequency adverbs, basic vocabulary, sentence writing, using words to write numbers, and an important math skill. If you had told me I’d be thinking about, let alone creating, such a thing when I was in college, I would have laughed and said it was impossible to do so much with so little! But then that’s true of a lot of what I do these days. 🙂 Happy teaching, everyone!