Parts of a Set

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SWBAT identify parts of a whole.

Big Idea

Fractions represent parts of a whole and parts of a set.

Intro Activity

10 minutes

I was blown away yesterday at the work you did with fractions. I saw how you were looking at parts of a whole or parts of a set and recording your fractions. Today we are going to look at different sets to see if we can identify the fractions!

Today we will re-watch a BrainPop video about fractions called ‘More Fractions’. We are re-watching it to review the information and key vocabulary for the students. BrainPop video is a subscription resource, but there are many other free resources that address fraction vocabulary and mathematical representations of fractions available on line. The key questions below frame the content you'd look for to meet the needs of this lesson.

Here I pause to question students about what we have covered until this point. Key questions:

What part of the fraction goes on top? What does it represent?

What goes on the bottom of a fraction? What does it represent?

I want students to develop a deep understanding that fractions represent parts of a whole or set and to be able to explain that.


15 minutes

I’m wondering if anyone can help me figure out what fraction of students in our class are going? And where would I put the total number of girls? Why? And where would I put the total number of students in our class? What is another word for that? (whole)

I spend the next 15 minutes asking students questions about our class and moving students around to show the fraction. If I ask what fraction are girls, I ask the girls to step aside to illustrate that there are 11 girls out of all 24 of us.

This gets students moving and provides a visual example of what fractions, and parts of a set, can look like. Students should be able to understand givens (how many students are in the class) and look for relationships in our class make-up to make sense of fractions (MP1). 

Some of the questions I use to help students reason about numbers, and relationships within those numbers:

What fractions of students are boys? Girls? Have jeans on? Have our uniform on? Have glasses? 


20 minutes

I have a lot of bags of stuff up here, and I just don’t know what I have! I have different colors, shapes and math tools! I’m going to need your help today, when you work in your group, to figure out what fractions of items I have in my bag.

Let’s try to fix one of my problems. Here is a bag of dinosaurs. (My students love dinosaurs so I know they'll like this.) What fraction of these are yellow? Red? 

As I’m asking questions, I’m recording information and responses on the board. I want students to see what my expectation for recording fractions looks like. MP4 expects students to apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, so that is our goal here.

I’m going to need each group to record as many fractions as they can using the materials in their bag. And remember to label! If you put 5 out of 8 and you don’t tell me what they are, I don’t know what I have 5 out of 8 of! 


5 minutes

You all did an incredible job today! You helped me figure out what I had in my bags, and taught me a lot about how I can create fractions with a set of objects! I even learned something new today, that i can classify my dinosaurs by meat eaters and plant eaters! How cool! 

I highlight a few of the thoughtful ways students created fractions today to acknowledge their hard work. It is important for me to validate their work and to share the thinking of a few with the rest of the class so that other students may have new ways of thinking about fractions.