## Reflection: Complex Tasks Numerators and Denominators - Section 3: Independent Time

As the students worked on the independent practice and I circulated around, I realized that students were adding and subtracting fractions on their own. The first student I saw said, well, there were 2 out of the box and 12 in all so 12 - 2 = 10 so there has to be 10/12 left in the box.

I was amazed at how easily he visualized the subtraction of the numerators to subtract fractions. I had not mentioned any of this to the students, but they figured it out on their own. It seemed so obvious to them.

By learning through these hands on activities, students were gaining a conceptual understanding of what a fraction really is (i.e. part of a whole, or part of a whole set) so understanding that you don't change the denominator is understood rather than memorized.

As I circulated around I saw this scene reenacted by other children. Sometimes the best learning happens when children figure things out on their own.

Complex Tasks: Figuring It Out On Your Own

# Numerators and Denominators

Unit 9: Fractions
Lesson 4 of 10

## Big Idea: Students always think of unit fractions (1/2, 1/3, 1/4), but the numerator can change. What happens when it changes? What does that mean for how much of the whole I have?

Print Lesson
4 teachers like this lesson
Standards:
Subject(s):
55 minutes

### Beth McKenna

##### Similar Lessons

###### Modeling with Box Diagrams on the iPad (day 1 of 2)
7th Grade Math » Exploring Rational Numbers
Big Idea: Students need to understand that a denominator shows the number of equal parts the whole is divided into.
Favorites(1)
Resources(23)
Dixon, CA
Environment: Suburban

###### Name that Fraction
4th Grade Math » Fractions
Big Idea: Fractions are part of a whole, and they can be represented in regions and sets.
Favorites(11)
Resources(13)
Memphis, TN
Environment: Urban

###### Introduction to Fractions: A Concrete Experience
3rd Grade Math » Introduction To Fractions
Big Idea: Providing students ample opportunities to work with fractional parts and reason about equally partitioned shapes will help them develop a deep understanding of part-whole relationships.
Favorites(29)
Resources(26)
Troy, MI
Environment: Suburban