Fractions; Fourths

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SWBAT divide a whole into fourths or quarters.

Big Idea

I want my students to develop a strong foundation in fractions. Today we will work on dividing items into regional parts of fourths. Also, I will discuss a fourths synonym (quarter) and engage my students in using this new terminology.

Rev Them Up

5 minutes

I will use this SMART Exchange activity to review halves and introduce fourths to my students. I want my students to learn that quarters means the same thing as fourths and will also use this term when discussing the different images on the Smart Board slides. I like that this activity ends with an opportunity to categorize shapes by their fractional pieces. Check out the review wholes and halves video of my students discussing the images on the slides.

Whole Group Interaction

10 minutes

It is not necessary at this age level to teach the symbols 1/4 or 1/2 to mastery at this time, but rather I want them to focus on dividing shapes or quantities into equal pieces for each given term. So if I ask my students to divide 4 M&M's into halves or an orange in halves, I want them to see that they need 2 equal amounts when they have divided. The same goes for fourths or quarters. I want them to show me that if they divide a cracker into fourths, they will divide it in to 4 equal pieces. (1.G.A.3).

My focus is not on whether they can understand what the symbols 1/4 or 1/2 means. They will see it and I will discuss it, but it is not necessary at their developmental level to use these notations only to introduce the idea of them. My goal is to build a firm foundation in fractional pieces and that to create these fractional pieces they must be equal in size and match the quantity being asked for. CCSS has shifted towards coherence from grade to grade, and right now I am just planting the seed that fractions represent quantities. This concept isn’t introduced until 3rd/4th grade, but this will develop a piece of knowledge they can refer back to.

For now, students must use the pictorial representations to develop understandings of dividing regions equally. They must ask themselves, "Does this make sense?", and continue to persevere and solve for correct answers. (MP1). Fractions require concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations for students to manipulate and examine to determine dividing points that make sense. I will continue using the SMART Exchange activity that I began with in Rev Them Up and use it to discuss fourths. Check out this dividing fourths video to see what my kids thought when we divided a pie into fourths or quarters.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

My students need an opportunity to discuss and decide if items are divided into fourths. I will use this game available for free at TPT. This game offers 18 different play cards with images that have been divided into different regional amounts. I will lay these cards throughout the room and pass out the recording sheet. I will give my students a partner to walk around the room with and check each play card. They will have to decide if yes, it is fourths, or no it is not. They will record their answers on their worksheet and turn it in. Please check out the video of my class playing the game of Fourths or Not.

Lesson Closure

5 minutes

I will have my class gather together and I will select a handful of the play cards for us to discuss. I will definitely grab play card "I" to discuss. I will have scissors handy and begin the discussion. I am wondering if there were any divisions that confused the kids. I think the "I" play card can be proven to the kids, if they had a difficult time manipulating it visually, by cutting it apart and lining up the edges. I will use this discussion to embed the idea of fourths a little deeper and to check for understanding.