Adding and Subtracting Fractions Activity, Day 1

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SWBAT develop the strategies for adding and subtracting fractions.

Big Idea

Students name amounts with fractions.

Do Now

10 minutes

As review of previous lessons, students will be given problems on estimating fraction sums. 


Determine whether the sum is closest to 0, ½ , 1, 1½ , 2, or 3.

1.      6/8 + 4/9

2.      3/5 + 9/10

3.       1 ¾ + 1/8


After 5 minutes, we will begin to review the answers.  I will select a few students for each problem to explain their work.  It is important for students to hear different explanations.


Mini Lesson

15 minutes

This is a student centered, experiential, lesson (adapted from the CMP3 curriculum).  I will handout the worksheets (Land Sections Group WorkLand Sections) to students.  I will have a student read the problem aloud.  I will guide students through how to approach the problem by asking several questions.

  • How many sections of land are being discussed in this problem?
  • How many acres are in a section?
  • Does anyone own a whole section?
  • Who owns the largest piece of a section?
  • About how much does Foley own?
  • About how much does Burg own?
  • What would be a reasonable estimate for Burg + Foley?
  • How much land does Lapp own?
  • What do you think it means in Question B when it says to write a number sentence?  Can you give an example?

These questions will assess students understanding of the Land Sections diagram.  As students answer each question it is important that they explain their reasoning. (MP3) This will help other students understand the activity.

This problem is a great opportunity for students to work on their analytical skills, reasoning, and operations with fractions.


Group Work

20 minutes

This is a 2 day activity.  The focus of today's group work is for students to complete Part A with their group.  From our work together, during the lesson, students may have started to develop strategies for identifying land amounts.  I will explain that they should discuss their strategies with their group members to identify the fraction that each person owns.

Students are grouped heterogeneously by math level, based on a previous exit ticket.  There is at least one high level math student in each group.  To ensure that the high level math student does not dominate the group discussion, I will emphasize that it is a group discussion and each member should be heard. I will also explain to students that when we review the answers, each member should be able to explain their reasoning.  Students should write their answers in their notebooks.

For differentiation,  students may use colored pencils to better identify the sections.  They may fold the paper.  Students may write more than one number sentence for question D.  Lower level students will be given the Land Sections divided into 64ths worksheet Land Sections divided into 64ths.

I will circulate throughout the groups to observe if and how students are using estimation to answer the questions.

Lesson Review

5 minutes

Because the group work will be continued the next day, I want to make sure that groups are ready to move on to the next step.  We will discuss any problems that occurred or questions that came up.