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# A Fraction Quilt

Lesson 4 of 5

## Objective: Students will be able to add unequal fractions to create a whole.

#### Mini Lesson

*10 min*

In our school, students are grouped during math across the entire grade. This means that students are moved into the right math class for their needs. I teach third grade math to students on grade level. Several of my students attend a third grade teacher's class who uses the fourth grade standards. On this particular day, we are not switching classes due to testing, so I need to do a project all of my students can participate in despite the different levels. I chose adding, multiplying, or simply naming fractions. This lesson does require some preparation of fraction strips. I made mine from brightly colored construction paper, using the same color consistently to represent specific unit fractions.

To begin the lesson, I show three photos of quilts (included here in resources). I ask the students to discuss with their shoulder partner if they see any fractional pieces in the photos and to be specific and name what fractional units they think they are seeing.

In one of the examples, the students did not see any fractional pieces, and they defend by saying nothing "equaled" anything else.

In the two other examples, they found many fractions, and I am sure we could have come up with more if given the time.

Next, I tell students we would be using fractions to create our own "paper" quilt. The quilt squares will also be labeled to show their fractional value as related to the whole (8 x 8 square).

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#### Active Engagement

*25 min*

In order to have the students create their own quilt square, I put out several size pieces of construction paper that I pre-cut. I begin with an 8 x 8 square. I also place out pieces cut into 4 x 4, 2 x 2, 2 x 4, and 1 x 1. I tell the students they can design any pattern they want, but can only use these fractional parts, which I did not name.

I listen in as students design, to determine if they are using the mathematical language of fractions. The design of this square is relatively easy and fun. The next step is when I begin watching for problem solving strategies and concrete knowledge of naming fractions.

As the students design, I begin asking them to name the colors represented on their whole. Below is one of the students doing so. As she was speaking with me, she ran into a problem.

In this clip, she figures out a way to solve the problem and name her fractional piece.

I am very impressed with this student's response regarding his design efforts. He obviously began with an outcome in mind, which he explains in this video.

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#### Closing

*10 min*

Following the design and naming session, I ask the students to turn their squares over and begin writing equations to represent their work.

This was telling, as all students were able to list each fractional piece and add them together. However, some saw that they could add like fractions together and even write multiplication problems for like fractions.

As a challenge later this week, I will have the group write about the fractions they see on our whole quilt!

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I wanted to report back about using this project. My students were working on equivalent fractions. I gave them a 12x12 piece of paper and asked them to cover,for example, 1/4 of it with one color but I only gave them pieces the equaled 8ths, 16ths, and for my advanced kids 64ths. These are now hanging proudly on our bulletin board in the hall. THanks

| one year ago | Reply

Arynne,

I am so pleased that you like the lesson. Please look into the third grade team's other lessons. I think they can be used by your students for many of the strands.

Thanks for looking-

Michelle

| 2 years ago | Reply

This is one of the coolest lessons I have seen with fractions. I teach middle school (7, 8, 9th) students with learning disabilities and we are working on fractions. I am definitely going to work this into our lessons.

| 2 years ago | Reply*expand comments*

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- UNIT 1: Developing Mathematical Practices
- UNIT 2: Understanding Multiplication
- UNIT 3: Using Multiplication to Find Area
- UNIT 4: Understanding Division
- UNIT 5: Introduction To Fractions
- UNIT 6: Unit Fractions
- UNIT 7: Fractions: More Than A Whole
- UNIT 8: Comparing Fractions
- UNIT 9: Place Value
- UNIT 10: Fluency to Automoticity
- UNIT 11: Going Batty Over Measurement and Geometry
- UNIT 12: Review Activities