## Reflection: Pacing What Is the Whole - Section 3: Sharing and Close

As the children were sharing and explaining, one of the students said, "I wish there was a word for this…I can't really explain what it is to break this up."

You can imagine my pride and excitement!  I then put up a copy of his model and wrote common denominator.  I then led the children through what each word meant separately, starting with denominator, which they knew.  Surprisingly, many did not know what "common" meant until I used it in many sentences.

Once they had an understanding of the words alone, I asked them to discuss with their tables what the term could mean and how it could be used to help this student.

This child is giving it a try.  He is doing a great job.  My next step with him will be to show him what the lowest common denominator (triangles in this example) is and how knowing that can be helpful.

This student is expressing her understanding of common denominators with a trapezoid and a triangle.

It is so much fun, and really critical to notice teachable moments like this, even if they take you far beyond the task at hand.  I know the children will need to learn common denominators in the coming grades.  Mentioning them because they actually had a reason for it and asked is the best part of today's lesson.

Common Denominator? Really?
Pacing: Common Denominator? Really?

# What Is the Whole

Unit 6: Unit Fractions
Lesson 11 of 13

## Big Idea: The Common Core defines understanding of fractions as a 3rd grade Critical Area, beginning with unit fractions. It's time to grow our understanding.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Math, modeling, Fractions, Number Sense and Operations, denominator, common denominator, numerators, wholes, Critical Area
40 minutes

### Michelle Marcus

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