Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 14 2012

Get smarter and you won’t be dome.

After weeks spent in my math enrichment class trying to build conceptual understanding for why you need a common denominator when adding and subtracting fractions, I had the kids write letters to someone important to them explaining the idea. Unfortunately, I don’t think all my students quite got it…


Dear Mom,

You have to find a common denomnator because, first of all, you can do math easir, quecker, faster. Also because, you will be able to do it like ms. mathinaz’s 2011 style. Next, its inportant to do this because, when you get older and go to college, you will need to do thoose in biger math proplemes. Lastly, its inportant because, you get smarter and you wont be dome.

Math is ASOME :-)





Dear, [Social Studies Teacher]

I heard some stuff from Ms. Mathinaz and she said your having problems with why you need to have common Denomonators. Its important because so that you can add and subtract decimals. But she said I can’t tell you how but yea!

Sinceraly your student

[Student Name]



Dear Mom,

It is important to find a common denominator, because you use them for driving cause you needed to find out how much gas you need. You might be speeding and find the way to slow down. You need it for checks to find the right amount.


[Student Name]

2 Responses

  1. Ms. H

    The second letter is hilarious! I like that you are keeping how to find common denominators a secret from the social studies teacher! Haha!

  2. MzHill

    I am totally going to have my middle schoolers write a letter home to explain to their parents why we need denominators. I get some crazy answers as well. Thanks for sharing.

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