Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Pattern Blocks to Investigate Fractions - Section 3: Concept Development


This hands on lesson was a great way for students to deepen their understanding of fraction concepts and build conceptual understanding.  Fractions are such an important math concept in fourth grade, yet one that many students begin to feel apprehensive about.  Up until this point, student have established number rules that make sense to them and their world.  Fractions really make students change their thinking. For example, in later lessons when students compare fractions, they will wrestle with the idea that the larger denominator doesn't necessarily mean the fraction is the largest when compared with another fraction.  Knowing this, I purposely designed this lesson and the previous lesson for students to work with manipulatives and make sense of parts of wholes. 

Probably the biggest challenge with this lesson was the wide variety of knowledge in my class.  I have some students who know quite a bit about fractions, while others are still really wrestling with the idea of numerator and denominator. In this lesson, some students finished very quickly while others needed the time to grasp the concept.  I added the extension in, (using more than one shape as a whole) on the fly as this lesson progressed. I could sense that some students were nearing the end of the task while others were still on number one.  This lesson definitely required me to be a fast thinker in order to continue to propel all student's forward to new learning. 

  Still work to do!
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Still work to do!
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Pattern Blocks to Investigate Fractions

Unit 6: Fraction Equivalents and Ordering Fractions
Lesson 3 of 14

Objective: SWBAT identify fractions when the whole (region) and a part of the region are given and understand numerator and denominator.

Big Idea: In this hands on lesson, students explore fractional relationships using pattern blocks in order to build conceptual understanding of numerator and denominator.

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