## Always looking for fun ways to reinforce the skills we are learning, I found an amazing inspiration for an activity for putting things in order. Here is where I got the inspiration for this activity. The first thing that I used for this activity was to order fractions. I made fifteen different sets of four fraction cards. I made this many, because I made them as stations. I put the students’ desks in groups of two and placed a paint stick and answer bookmark on each pair of desks. Students paired up and worked out the ordering in their spiral notebooks. They then placed the fractions in order on the paint sticks and checked their answers with the answer bookmark. After all students finished the set they were working on, I called “rotate” and they went to the next station and repeated the steps. Here is how I made the activity………

## I went to our local Lowe’s and picked up fifteen free paint stirrer sticks. Yes…. the guy looked at me funny and was a little reluctant to hand over that many. I took them anyway. I’m pretty sure they can afford to give a poor school teacher some dang free, cheap pieces of balsa wood. Not to mention the free advertisement I’m giving them right now. Anywho….. I also bought some velcro squares. These were not the brand I actually used, because (even though I’m a math teacher) I miscalculated. Hey… it was late at night, and I was tired.

## I made, on my computer, fifteen sets of four fraction squares for students to order. I printed off two copies of each. One set I cut up, laminated, and placed velcro on the back to be ordered. The other set I laminated and used as the “answer bookmarks.” Click on the picture below to download the fraction sets I made so that you can use them in your class.

## I copied them on regular, white paper, but had I thought about it I would have printed them on colored card stock. For one, you could see the fractions through the back side. To remedy this, I just told the students to keep the “answer bookmark” under their spiral until they had completed the paint stick ordering. It still worked perfectly. In order to keep the correct paint stick with fractions on them with the correct answer bookmark, I used my label maker to put numbers on them.

## Here is a picture of the label maker I used…..

## Here is a picture of the numbers I put on the back of the paint stick and the answer bookmark……..

## After my first class, I realized that the velcro stays on PERFECTLY to the laminated paper squares, but did NOT stay on the paint stick what-so-ever….. To fix this, I used my super, duper heavy duty stapler to put a staple in the middle of each velcro square on the paint stick.

## Here is a picture…….

## Then I realized that the staples didn’t bend nicely in the back of the stick, and would poke your fingers. To fix this, I used the end of my staple gun (anything hard would work) to hammer down the backs of the staples.

## Here is a picture…….

## In order for my students to have record of everything we do, and no I don’t have them turn everything in, I have had them use a spiral notebook to record everything we do in class. I have them put a title in the heading of the page, and then put the problems and their work and answers for the activities that we do.

## Here is a sample for this activity…….

## Here are some more pictures of my students working with the fraction sticks. When I get out my camera, they all go crazy wanting their picture taken. I hope you enjoy this post as much as my students loved working with the fraction sticks!!!