Rational Numbers on the Number line - Stations

49 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT locate rational numbers on a number line.

Big Idea

The number line is a useful tool to use when ordering rational numbers


15 minutes

The students will be working on an Illustrative Math problem that will require them to use a number line as a tool.   I liked this problem because the students don’t know how to find the difference when using integers so they will have to rely on other resources to help them solve this problem (SMP1 and 5).  Let students know that they can use a number line to help them with this problem.  Knowing to use the number line and how to use it are two different things and it is the latter part that I will be looking at when they are trying to solve.  Once this part of the question is over, the students need to apply their understanding of integers and their knowledge of sea level.  I will be collecting this and giving students feedback on their strategies the next day. Students need feedback to get a clearer picture of their understanding.  The feedback should be both positive and constructive.  I make it a point of telling them what looks good and what they still need to work on.  Students can then make revisions as needed. 


60 minutes

The students will be working in three Stations which will rotate every 20 minutes.

Computer Station: Students working at the computer station will be creating a number line using an excel spreadsheet.  Incorporating technology into the curriculum is a focus of the common core.  To help students create their number line, I’ve created step-by-step directions for them to follow to make this a successful experience for everyone.  Some students may be farther along with technology then others, so they can work without directions if they choose.

Teacher Station: Students working in the teacher stations will be creating number lines and placing rational numbers on them. By creating the number line, students will be incorporating mathematical practice 5, using a tool to help with understanding.  I’m going to be using a variety of numbers so students understand how to create their number line to fit the information given(SMP2: students will be making sense of the numbers to place on the number line)  Since this is small group, I will be able to address issues on the spot and re-teach as needed.  Also, be sure to include some of the word problems where students have to create their own number line and then write a simple inequality.

 During the teacher station, as students are writing their inqualities, watch as they compare two negative numbers.  A common misconception is that the larger the value, the greater the value.  For example, students may say that -6 is greater than -4 because 6 is greater than 4.  When students are working with both negatives, and in this example, I like to say would you rather owe someone $6 or $4.  Yes, $4 because it is closer to zero which makes it the greater value. 

Independent Station: Students working independently will be working on several problems involving graphing and ordering rational numbers on the number line.  The first problem walks them through their thinking.  The next two problems have them graphing and ordering the rational numbers on the number line.  Problem 4 has them looking at a student response and explaining the mistake. The last problem is a connect 3: whole numbers, integers, rational numbers.  Students will be making a connection between the vocabulary words and writing a brief summary in the middle of the triangle.  Their independent work should be collected as evidence of student learning.Three-way tie supports MP1 and MP6.  Students need to decide on what they want to say and then use mathematical language to make sense in their explanantions. 


10 minutes

Since this is the second day of working with number lines and rational numbers, I want to have the students do a self assessment.  I’m going to give them 4 problems to solve involving comparing and ordering rational numbers.  Each problem will become more difficult.  The students will be instructed to stop when the problem becomes too hard or they don’t feel comfortable answering it.  This will give me an idea of where the level of learning is for each student. (SMP1,2,3)

 Tools: Emerging Learning