Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Units & Wholes (Days 1 - 3) - Section 2: Try It Yourself


This task allows the students to develop an understanding of the fractional parts with precision emphasized.  The students were challenged to cut and fold, so that each part was exactly the same size.  Many of the students tried to move quickly through this task, and then realized their pieces would need to be redone in order to be included on the class poster.  

There were discussions among the students about why or why not the papers were folded correctly. One student was able to explain that if the fraction represented something real, everyone would want equal pieces (fair shares).

Although folding paper into fractions seems to be a simple task, the students were challenged to create evenly folded pieces as they began to understand the fractions.  They were especially challenged by thirds and sixths.  This was especially true if the students were working with circles.  

Throughout the days of this lesson, students moved away from the challenge of using circles.  They found the circles too difficult to fold into equal portions with precision.  I want the students to begin looking at how the size of a fourth compares to a third or a sixth. It is important for them to realize when the size of the whole remains the same no matter which fractional piece is marked.  I want my students to understand when the number of fractional pieces increases (denominator), the size of the fractional piece decreases because the whole amount remains the same.  

  Understanding Fractions
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Understanding Fractions
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Units & Wholes (Days 1 - 3)

Unit 4: Fractions
Lesson 3 of 18

Objective: SWBAT to explain and reason that a shape shows equal fractions, creating models for halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and eighths.

Big Idea: It is important for students to learn to compare the size of the same fraction units as the size of the whole amount changes.

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  45 minutes
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