If you’ve been teaching in a traditional, public school classroom for very long, you know two things:
1) Standardized tests love all flavors of rational numbers and throw them in whenever they can. Got a geometry problem? Let’s spice it up with some rational numbers. Statistics? Let’s add some negative decimals to that data set. Algebra? Yep, negative mixed numbers all the way.
2) The majority of students need more practice with computation with rational numbers outside of just the fraction/decimal/integer units. (Note: When I say “need”, I mean that in a very school-specific way… but let’s not get into that at the moment!)
I eventually stumbled across the realization that that my students got more out of small, regular exposures than big, comprehensive review sessions. For example, I never had much luck waiting until 3 weeks before the end-of-grade test to do the big rational number review (a review of a unit we covered in the first quarter). Instead, they would do much better if I sprinkled rational number practice throughout the year – during the Algebra units, Geometry units, Stats units – you name it. For me, the limiting factor in doing this was finding good resources and finding the time to create good resources.
This packet is intended to provide you a resource to provide these short, regular exposures to different types of problems – straight computation, word problems, and puzzles that require a bit more flexible thinking. So, rather than giving this as a review sheet for your rational numbers unit (though that’s ok, too), why not give it one week in January or February, when the first quarter is starting to look smaller in the rear-view mirror?