Adding/Subtracting Fractions Task

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The students will be able to demonstrate their ability to add and subtract fractions.

Big Idea

Scoot on over!


15 minutes

In this lesson students will be scooting around the room to solve many fraction problems involving adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.  They will solve the problems individually and then have an opportunity to present their thinking at the end of the lesson on how they solved the problems. 

To activate students' brains into math for this lesson I display a simple t-chart on the board with two columns; one column says less than 1/2 and the other says more than 1/2.  I will then display several different fractions and ask students to help me place them in the chart.  The students will have to defend their answer by explaining their thinking(MP 3).  The fractions I chose to use are 3/12, 3/10, 3/4, 11/12, 2/7, 1/3, 5/10, 9/14, and 4/6. 

I want students to have an understanding and idea of what 1/2 means because it is definitely something that they will encounter throughout their life.


30 minutes

To practice and review adding and subtracting fractions students will travel around the room to complete 27 different problems.  Each student desk becomes a numbered station in this activity some call Scoot or Around the Room.  The students will have notebook paper to record the answer using a model to solve each problem.

I cut up the Scoot cards and pass one out to each student.  I assign them a number and have them write it on their Scoot card as well.  When they start recording their answers they have to make sure they number their answer with the correct problem. 

Students work independently at each station and have about one or two minutes to complete the problem using a model.  There may not be time to complete all stations.  I keep track of time and give students the signal for when it is time to rotate stations.  As they are “scooting” I circulate the room and monitor progress and check for understanding. 


15 minutes

I collect the cards from the students and then draw a few at random.  I ask for volunteers to come up to the board and explain how they solved the problem.  I focus on students using the correct vocabulary associated with their explanation and the correct use of model to aid in their thinking. 

I collect the Scoot answer sheets as a way to check for progress of students I was unable to monitor during the activity.