Robotic Fraction, Decimals, and Percentages

I just posted a lesson I’ve used with various 5th grade classes as they were studying fractions and decimals.  We used the Lego EV3 robots, and were able to complete the activity in an hour.

Here’s how the activity works.  Using a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robot and a touch sensor, each group of students inputs a fraction. Then they convert the fraction into a decimal and a percentage using hand calculations, and double check their work using the EV3 robot. They observe the robot moving forward and record the distance it moves. Students learn that the distance moved is a fraction of the full distance, based on the fraction that they input. For instance, if they input ½, the robot moves half of the original distance. Using this information, students work backwards to compute the full distance. Groups then are challenged to move the robot as close as possible to a target distance by inputting a fraction into the EV3 bot. Four different challenges of increasing difficulty are available in this lesson. Most students complete 2 within an hour, but the extra are included for students who master the concepts quickly.

The kids had a blast with this lesson and were fully engaged.  I love how it really makes them think about fractions in a real sense, and that they have to draw on their understanding to figure out the challenges.

If you have access to EV3 robots and want to try the lesson, you can get it here:



Makerspace Prompt Cards

I’ve been using prompt cards in my Makerspace for a bit now.  I find that they help students, but they also help the teachers who bring the students into the Makerspace too.  Even though teachers at my schools have been trained on how to use the equipment, they often need reminders…and it helps them feel like they have a way to answer student questions.


I prefer using them in Acrylic Sign Holders like these, but they are expensive.  If you trim cards down a bit, they will work in the plastic 8×10 picture frames you can buy for pretty cheap.  They don’t hold up as well, but if you are on a budget, they will work. Another option is to run the cards on tagboard and use sheet protectors.

This packet contains resources to create Makerspace Centers with the following materials:

  • LEDs and Coin Cell Batteries
  • Cubelets
  • Hot Wheel Tracks
  • Little Bits
  • Makey Makey
  • Spheros
  • Dollar Store Fans
  • Squishy Circiuts
  • old toys

Each center contains pictures, simple directions, and QR codes to scan for more info.  You get them on Teachers Pay Teachers here.

Makerspace prompt cards