One of the things we DID accomplish in our time back after break was our introduction to addition and subtraction with fractions. I thought our new series presented it in a rather interesting way, so I tweaked it a little (knowing my class and their....ummmm...focus challenges)
In a nutshell, I asked the students (in trios) to fold 4 pieces of paper into eighths. I told them I didn't care HOW they divided them into eighths--but asked that they do it the same way for each piece--and that they do it in less than three minutes. I then asked them to come back and we talked about how they accomplished the task.
I then sent them back to shade the following fractions on their pages--each sheet representing a different fraction--1/8, 2/8, 3/8, and 5/8. Again, I gave the team 3 minutes to accomplish the goal. We then talked about how it didn't matter WHICH of the sections were colored...just that the fraction was represented (ex. 3 out of the 8). Both of these mini-tasks were a great review from winter break.
I then talked to them about counting by unit fractions...also review. We did some counting together---1/5, 2/5, 3/5 and so on. I then asked what would happen to each of their folded papers if they counted up 1 more eighth. I showed a sample and we worked as a class to model it with 3/8.
We talked about writing equations to match what we did, and then I sent them back to try adding TWO eighths to each of their sheets and to write a matching equation.
It was a great way for the students to see the additive nature of fractions--and to realize that adding fractions really is COUNTING by a number of parts. Hopefully this will help clear up those "add the denominator" misconceptions. Hope everyone is staying warm!