Ordering Fractions With Partners

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SWBAT to practice ordering fractions on a number line by teaching each other.

Big Idea

Students teaching and learning from each other improves and enhances their learning and understanding in a reteach of this concept.


5 minutes

This is a reteach of a relatively complex concept - ordering fractions on a number line.  I open by reviewing a number line, marking 0 and 1. Then we figured out half by putting our arms straight out ahead of our bodies and them together (slowly - you may want to do some interactive modeling first) at the same time to meet in the middle.  We used the same approach (my arms are actually pointing to the number line) to determine and mark 1/4, which is half way between 1/2 and 0.  Then we talk about how to figure out where to put 1/8. I'm hoping students will continue to apply what they know - a half - to break these fractions down. 

I draw models of fraction strips to show 1/2 compared to 1/4 and 3/8.  To help students develop some perspective regarding these smaller fractions, we discuss how having 1/8 of something like a candy bar may not be what you want to have. Then I present a reasoning problem. Consider the task of cleaning the school.  Would you want to clean the whole school or 1/8 of the school?  The real world discussions about fractions helps the students understand the quantity is related to the whole, which is being divided into fractions.

I explain to the students they will be teaching each other how to order fractions on number lines, based on their performance and questions from the fraction assessment.  I explain they each have their own partner to teach, and to question about how to order fractions.  

Partners Working Together

20 minutes

Using their fraction strips and whiteboards, students work together to order fractions.  There are two number lines to complete. A number line for halves, fourths, and eighths.  The second number line is four halves, thirds, and sixths. 

Each number line is marked with zero and one, and students work in partners to teach each other how to order fractions.  My students are able to partner up fairly evenly within different skill levels, but some are working with a similar partner.  The focus of this lesson is the students teaching each other about ordering fractions.  

I facilitate the groups and the discussion. 

Wrap Up

10 minutes

During the wrap up I have the students evaluate the challenges and successes from working with their partner.  I ask, "What was challenging and what was easy about teaching and learning from a partner?"  Students share about the challenges of getting their partner to listen to their instruction, explaining their thinking, and in some cases working with a difficult partner. 

Their successes include communicating so that the partner learned how to order fractions, showing how to use the fraction strips, and being able to ask questions to help them learn.