Name that Fraction

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SWBAT identify fractions that are part of a set.

Big Idea

Fractions are part of a whole, and they can be represented in regions and sets.

Whole Class Discussion

15 minutes

In today's lesson, the students learn to identify fractions in sets.  I feel that this skill is important because it will prepare the students to be successful with equivalent fractions 4.NF.A2 and comparing fractions 4.NF.A2.

To begin the lesson, I let the students know that today's lesson is called "Name that Fraction."   Before I put you in groups, I want to talk to you about different representations of fractions.  The students learned about regions and sets in the 3rd grade, therefore, I use this lesson as a review lesson to help them remember what they have already learned.  

In a region, we have 1 whole that has been divided into pieces.  As I explain this to the students, I am writing on the Smartboard.  If you are talking about sets, then you have  individual items that have been put into a group.  We can name fractions from regions, and we can name fractions from sets.

I ask, "Who can name something that could be in sets?"  One students says blocks.  Another student names books.  "That is a good one.  Explain to me how books can be in sets?  How could they be separated so that you can describe a fraction for the books?"  I give the students a few minutes to think about the question.  I call on several students to answer the question.  Some answers given:  colors, grade level of books, shape of book, and type of book, like math, science, etc.  I point out to the students, "As you can see, many different things can be in sets."

I ask the same question for regions.  A region is one whole that can be divided into pieces.  "What are some things that would be in a region?"  I call on different students.  Their responses:  cake, pizza, pie, and cookies.  

"In the activity, you will have to name the fraction.  So, let's review the two parts of a fraction.  In a region, your denominator  tells you the total number of pieces."  On the Smart board, I draw a rectangle and divide it into pieces.   I always try to give my students tips that will help them remember important information.  I explain, "Denominator starts with the letter "d"and down starts with "d".  So our denominator would be the part of the fraction that is down at the bottom.  Let's find the denominator for this fraction."  The students count the pieces out loud as I point to them.  There are 7 pieces.  "Our denominator is 7."  I explain that the numerator tells you the pieces that are being described.  "If I say name the fraction for the "shaded" part, then you count the shaded.  If I say name the fraction for the part that is not shaded, then you count the part that is not shaded."  On the example on the board, I ask the students to find the fraction for the "shaded" part.  "How many are shaded?"  3.  "So our fraction for the shaded part is 3/7. " 

Next, I discuss a set with the students.  "In a set, your denominator is the total number of items in the group.  Let's count the items in this group."  Together we count 5 items.  "What if I said give me a fraction for the number of circles in this set, what would my numerator be?"  I call on one of my boys to answer this question.  He tells me 4.  "This means that 4 out of the 5 are circles."  

I remind the students that this was a review to help them recall what they learned in the previous grade.  

Skill Building/Exploration

20 minutes

In order for the students to practice the skill, I give them the opportunity to work together in groups.  I find that collaborative learning is vital to the success of students.  Students learn from each other by justifying their answers and critiquing the reasoning of others (MP3). 

I let the students know that they will be working in groups of 3 to play a game with shapes (MP5).  The name of the game is "Name that Fraction Game.docx."  To put the students in their groups, I have them count off to 6.  I find that this is a strategy to get different students working together.  My students sit in groups in the classroom daily.  Therefore, I tend to have them work with someone within their own groups.  Because of this, the students do not have an opportunity to interact with other students in the classroom when working on skills.  From time to time, I like to have the students count off so that they can experience learning from other people.  

After the students count off, I instruct the number ones to sit together.  Next, the students who are 2's move to a specific area, and so on until all students are in their groups.  Before the students begin, I discuss the game with the whole class.  


There are 3 roles: sorter, identifier, and scorer.  The sorter arranges the shapes into a set.  (The sorters reach into the basket and take out any shapes they want, then arrange them for the identifiers to see.)  The sorter tells the identifier which shape they want him/her to name in the fraction.  (Example: The sorter could say, "Name a fraction for the  hexagons.")  The identifier is going to name the fraction.  (To make it more interesting, have the scorer time the "identifier" by giving them 30 seconds to name the fraction.)  If they get the answer correct, the scorer records the point in the chart.  (The team must let the person know why their answer is not correct.)  After that, the students switch roles.  The first student to get to 10 wins the game.

At the end of the lesson, the winner from each group receives a prize.

As the students play the game, I monitor to assess the students' understanding.  

As I walk around, I am listening for the students to use "talk" that will lead to the answer. I am holding the students accountable for their own learning.  

As they work, I monitor and assess their progression of understanding through questioning. 

1.  What is the denominator? How do you know?

2. What is the numerator?  How do you know?

3.  Explain to your team why this answer is wrong.

One student  in particular was really having a difficult time because he was confused about which number was the numerator or denominator. As you can hear in the Name that Fraction Video, his teammates explained to him why his answer was incorrect.  Later, as I was walking around, I heard one student say 3/8.  I stopped to look and saw that this was the student who was confused about the numerator and the denominator.  I checked and his answer was correct.  He looked at me and told me, "I understand now."  This is a prime example of how Math Practice 3 enables students to communicate by justifying their answers or critiquing the reasoning of others.  "Talk" in a classroom is very powerful, and it is crucial for the success of all students.    

The score sheets are collected at the end of the game.  The winners are identified and rewarded.




15 minutes

To close the lesson, I bring the class back together as a whole.  We review one final time how to name fractions from regions and sets.  This gives those students who still do not understand another opportunity to learn it.  

The score sheets are collected at the end of the game.  The winners are recognized during the closing of the lesson.  The score sheet gives me a clear picture of who understands how to name fractions from sets.  In this Score sheet, you can see that the second student is having difficulty naming fractions.  The other two students have 7 points and 6 points.  The second student only has 3 points.  This student will be pulled for small group intervention along with other students identified from the score sheets.

Each student is given a Name that Fraction Exit Ticket to complete individually.  Group activities are great, but I need to know how well each student is doing on their own. The exit tickets are collected at the end of class.  This gives me further data on how the students are comprehending individually.   All struggling students identified from the score sheet and exit tickets will receive further instruction in small group.