Fractions: Halves and Fourths & Quarters

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SWBAT divide objects into halves and fourths.

Big Idea

My class has been studying halves, fourths/quarters. This lesson allows them to review these topics in a creative way.

Rev Them Up

5 minutes

To kick off today's lesson I will have my students complete a quick draw to review halves.

Students I am going to give you 3 minutes to draw 4 of your favorite foods. (Set timer and let them start.)

Now that your drawings are finished, I want us to look at them for a moment. Remember when we talked about how we are not computers or machines and we can only do our best, but it may not be perfect. I know that you drew your favorite foods the best you could and now I want you to go back and color half of each food.  

(I will draw a pod of 6 grapes on the board and demonstrate coloring 3 of them for an example.)

My focus for this lesson is not on whether my students can understand what the symbols 1/4 or 1/2 means. Today, students will see the fractional notations, and I will discuss them, but it is not necessary yet to teach these notations to mastery - only to introduce the idea of them. My goal is to build a firm foundation in the concept of geometrical fractional pieces (that to create these fractional pieces they must be equal in size and match the quantity being asked for). In later grades, students will then apply these concepts to the idea that fractions are actually numerical quantities. CCSS has shifted towards coherence from grade to grade, and I am planting the seed that fractions represent quantities now.

Whole Group Interaction

10 minutes

Math anchor charts are a great way for students to demonstrate their learning and create visual images for future reference. You can go here for tips on good math anchor charts and to see more examples.

Today I will have my students demonstrate their ideas and review halves and fourths by having my students create their own anchor chart. We will do this as a whole group activity and we will define through illustrations the words: whole, halves, fourths, and quarters. Check out the video to see my students' creations. My First Graders are not always conscious of what they know and this activity will allow them to reinforce their own learning. Activities like this allow them opportunities to focus their attention, try alternatives, and persevere in demonstrating their knowledge (MP1).

Independent Practice

5 minutes

I will pre-cut shapes from construction paper and pass out four shapes to each student. These shapes will be a mix of squares, hearts, rectangles, triangles, and circles.

Students I want you to use your pencil to draw lines and show me halves on two shapes, then show me fourths on the other two shapes. Glue them to the back of your anchor chart.

It is important for First Graders to be able to partition items into equal regions. The First Grade Common Core standards want students to master dividing into halves and fourths. These fourths can also be called quarters. (1.G.A.3). It is important for them to master this knowledge because it is the foundational building block of fractions. In later grades, they will make connections between notations like 1/2 and this means dividing objects into two equal pieces.

Lesson Closure

5 minutes

I will call my students to our gathering spot by the rocker. 

Students bring your anchor chart with you and come find your spot at the carpet. I would like you to pick one of your shapes you divided and share it with us. I would like you to look at your shapes now and pick which one. Be ready to stand up and tell us how many pieces you divided it into.