Add 'Em Up

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Students will be able to name fractions from the addition of unit fractions using fraction circles as tools.

Big Idea

Naming unit fractions is a start, but helping students visualize how they can be grouped together to make a larger part of a whole is the focus of today's lesson.

Mini Lesson

10 minutes

I have a game that uses photos of pizza and slices of pizza. I use these to engage my students in today's lesson.  If you don't have anything similar, try showing a photocopy of a candy bar blown up. You can then cut the copies into fractional parts.  

To begin, remind the students that in a previous lesson they created unit fractions and today they will name larger fractions using those units. 

Show them a model of a whole pizza cut into fourths.  Then pull one slice out and ask how much was eaten. Next, ask students to name the amount of pizza left.  The answer is just the beginning. It is critical to prompt students to explain how they know their answers are true. Rather than helping them explain their thinking, act as a facilitator using questions or making suggestions such as drawing or using models/manipulatives which the student could then describe as a means to explaining their thinking. Our objective is understanding, and without ample opportunities to explore their own thinking and the thinking of others, many students will be hindered from reaching it.

Move though this activity using other unit fractions, such as eighths and sixths.  

Now, introduce the fraction circles and tell the students they represent the pizzas. Allow the students a few minutes to explore with the pieces if they have not had an opportunity to see them prior to the lesson.

Active Engagement

20 minutes

Students work with the fraction circles to name unit fractions and fractions of a whole when added together using the recording sheet in the resources section.

As they work together, move through the room prompting them to discuss patterns they see, either in the model, or in the numerators and denominators of the written fractions. 

This student made an observation that 2/4 and 3/6 equal 1/2 from the model.  My next prompt with him would be to look at the numbers and see if there is an obvious pattern (numerator is doubled-or is half of- the denominator). 

This young man is working to name the larger fraction built by the unit fraction 1/6. This is the same model as the above student, but each child recognizes something else. That is what makes math fun!

Closing and Share

10 minutes

To close this lesson, have the students share out some of the patterns they noticed.  Also, put some fractions (on top of the whole circle) on the board for everyone to see.  Have partners name the unit fraction and the whole fraction.

Let the students know that tomorrow they will be working in their reflection journals and making use of their new learning of unit fractions and fractional parts.