Fractions are on stage in fourth grade -- it's that time of year when every skill that's been mastered (hopefully) so far gets a part in the play. Multiplication and division are still the stars, but they wear different costumes and are sometimes unrecognizable at first. The reason for understanding factors and multiples stands proudly in the spotlight with its chest thrust out, and the moment when the audience can anticipate the moves of every character on the stage, knowing almost before they do who's greater, lesser, equal, improper or mixed...oh, that moment...it is among my favorites every year.
Numbers and the four operations of mathematics come to life for Mary Cornish in her poem, Numbers. I give you two stanzas; click through to Poetry 180 for the whole poem.
by Mary Cornish
I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.