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March 23, 2016

# Equivalent Fractions Egg Hunting!

How did teachers manage before the Internet? My mom, a former teacher, assures me that it was possible, but it totally boggles my mind. So many of my best “original” teaching ideas are based on inspiration I find online, including this equivalent fractions Easter egg hunt.

Two years ago when I read Genia Connell’s blog post about "10 Quick, Easy (and Fun!) Ways to Practice Time Skills" I was smitten with her analog-digital matching game using plastic eggs. Oh, the possibilities! I picked up bags of eggs when they went on sale after Easter and decided to use them for a concept that my students always need to practice — equivalent fractions. This differentiated egg hunt is not only fun, it encourages rigorous math talk and problem solving.

I get by with a little help from my (online) friends! I adapted Genia's brilliant idea for using eggs to match digital and analog time displays to create an equivalent fractions activity for my students.

### Preparing the Eggs for Differentiation

To make sure that this activity was accessible and appropriately challenging for all of my students, I decided to create leveled sets of eggs sorted by colors. So the entry level purple eggs focus on unit fractions, pictorial fractions, and other basics. Some of the more challenging colors included mixed numbers, improper fractions, and decimals.

### Setting Up the Scavenger Hunt

Placing 80+ egg halves takes some time, so I asked two fifth grade volunteers to “hide” the equivalent fraction egg halves all around the playground. I created “home bases” for each color team with a bin for the eggs, recording sheets and pencils, and the names of the students on that team. Before heading outside for the egg hunt, I had teams complete a readiness worksheet as a warm up and I went over the rules for the hunt.

### Let the Hunt Begin!

I gave my students five minutes to dash around to find all of the egg halves for their color and drop the eggs of at their base stations. Students were only allowed to touch the eggs that matched their team color. Oh, the excitement as the kids ran around screaming with glee as they found their eggs!

### Equivalent Fraction Matchmaking

After the hunt portion of the activity ended, the students worked with their teammates to match up equivalent fraction egg pairs. This was an excellent context for math talk among the students as they worked through the process of finding equivalent fractions. In some cases, there were multiple possible matches (e.g. 3/6, 5/10, 9/18 and 15/30), which led to even more discussion. Each time a student matched egg halves, she had to explain the match to the group and each group member recorded the match on their individual recording pages.

Matching eggs based on equivalent fraction pairs provides a great context for rich math talk.

Download the Equivalent Fraction Egg Hunt recording page. Students each picked three of their matched eggs to further explain their mathematical thinking on an exit slip (below).

### More Matching for Early Finishers

For teams that finished early, they had the option to either work on an equivalent fractions egg challenge page, or to trade eggs with another team and work on matching another color. In fact, this activity was such a hit that all of my students wanted the chance to try matching a different team’s eggs. So I bagged the eggs by color and egg matching became a math center available throughout our fractions unit. For students who were struggling to grasp equivalent fractions concepts, I also developed a simpler fractions egg activity that uses a dozen plastic eggs in an egg carton.

Students had a choice of enrichment activities: an open-ended Design Your Own Fraction Egg Hunt, a Challenge Level egg page, or the option to try matching a set of different colored eggs.

The dozen eggs activity helps to develop basic fraction concepts using concrete manipulatives and a common benchmark number for the set — 12 eggs.

## Other Academic Uses for Plastic Eggs

Genia has suggestions for every subject area in her blog post "11 Creative Uses for Plastic Eggs in the Classroom."

Brian Smith embraces the fun of egg hunting with his primary grade suggestions in his blog post "Engaging and Educational Egg Hunt Ideas."

How did teachers manage before the Internet? My mom, a former teacher, assures me that it was possible, but it totally boggles my mind. So many of my best “original” teaching ideas are based on inspiration I find online, including this equivalent fractions Easter egg hunt.

Two years ago when I read Genia Connell’s blog post about "10 Quick, Easy (and Fun!) Ways to Practice Time Skills" I was smitten with her analog-digital matching game using plastic eggs. Oh, the possibilities! I picked up bags of eggs when they went on sale after Easter and decided to use them for a concept that my students always need to practice — equivalent fractions. This differentiated egg hunt is not only fun, it encourages rigorous math talk and problem solving.

I get by with a little help from my (online) friends! I adapted Genia's brilliant idea for using eggs to match digital and analog time displays to create an equivalent fractions activity for my students.

### Preparing the Eggs for Differentiation

To make sure that this activity was accessible and appropriately challenging for all of my students, I decided to create leveled sets of eggs sorted by colors. So the entry level purple eggs focus on unit fractions, pictorial fractions, and other basics. Some of the more challenging colors included mixed numbers, improper fractions, and decimals.

### Setting Up the Scavenger Hunt

Placing 80+ egg halves takes some time, so I asked two fifth grade volunteers to “hide” the equivalent fraction egg halves all around the playground. I created “home bases” for each color team with a bin for the eggs, recording sheets and pencils, and the names of the students on that team. Before heading outside for the egg hunt, I had teams complete a readiness worksheet as a warm up and I went over the rules for the hunt.

### Let the Hunt Begin!

I gave my students five minutes to dash around to find all of the egg halves for their color and drop the eggs of at their base stations. Students were only allowed to touch the eggs that matched their team color. Oh, the excitement as the kids ran around screaming with glee as they found their eggs!

### Equivalent Fraction Matchmaking

After the hunt portion of the activity ended, the students worked with their teammates to match up equivalent fraction egg pairs. This was an excellent context for math talk among the students as they worked through the process of finding equivalent fractions. In some cases, there were multiple possible matches (e.g. 3/6, 5/10, 9/18 and 15/30), which led to even more discussion. Each time a student matched egg halves, she had to explain the match to the group and each group member recorded the match on their individual recording pages.

Matching eggs based on equivalent fraction pairs provides a great context for rich math talk.

Download the Equivalent Fraction Egg Hunt recording page. Students each picked three of their matched eggs to further explain their mathematical thinking on an exit slip (below).

### More Matching for Early Finishers

For teams that finished early, they had the option to either work on an equivalent fractions egg challenge page, or to trade eggs with another team and work on matching another color. In fact, this activity was such a hit that all of my students wanted the chance to try matching a different team’s eggs. So I bagged the eggs by color and egg matching became a math center available throughout our fractions unit. For students who were struggling to grasp equivalent fractions concepts, I also developed a simpler fractions egg activity that uses a dozen plastic eggs in an egg carton.

Students had a choice of enrichment activities: an open-ended Design Your Own Fraction Egg Hunt, a Challenge Level egg page, or the option to try matching a set of different colored eggs.

The dozen eggs activity helps to develop basic fraction concepts using concrete manipulatives and a common benchmark number for the set — 12 eggs.

## Other Academic Uses for Plastic Eggs

Genia has suggestions for every subject area in her blog post "11 Creative Uses for Plastic Eggs in the Classroom."

Brian Smith embraces the fun of egg hunting with his primary grade suggestions in his blog post "Engaging and Educational Egg Hunt Ideas."

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