I choose to assess students' ordering and comparing fractions using self-created fraction models because it is included as a sample test item for the PARCC exam.
Prior to the assessment of drawing fractions, I review how to draw fraction strip models on whiteboards for the different fraction units that will be used in assessment. This includes drawing rectangles the same length to divide into different unit fractions. This skill is important because it will support students when they need to order fractions on a number line, or to compare different unit fractions by creating a visual model on their own. This skill can be applied in testing situations that would not include using a hands-on manipulative.
During the review I model, and the students also draw, fraction bars practicing halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and eighths. I pick these units because this is what is covered in third grade Common Core standards.
This assessment is self created and does not require the students to have a worksheet or form to fill in. I write the following information, and project it onto the screen, for the class to reference while they complete the task.
Order the unit fractions on a number line based on drawings of fraction strips. Create number lines to contain the following information.
Line 1. eighths, fourths, halves
Line 2. sixths, thirds, halves
Line 3. All fractions combined onto one number line
Show your models for each number line. You may not need to redraw a model for the last number line, but you can if you choose.
The students are assessed based on the precision shown in their fraction strips, and the accuracy of the order of the fractions. Precision is based on the criteria that each unit fraction is a different size from all other unit fractions.
We close with a share, with students demonstrating some of their strategies for combining all the fractions onto one number line.
Ideas include copying the first number line because it has the most fractions and they only have to figure out where to place the thirds and sixths. Some students talk about using color to help sort their