Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Decomposing Pizza Fractions - Section 3: Student Practice


Prior to the Common Core shift, I would have taught students about equivalent fractions much differently. This is partly due to the quantity of 4th grade standards and the limited timeframe. Sad to say, in the past, the focus would have been mostly on memorizing the steps: What do you multiply the denominator by to get to 12? Then what do you have to multiply the numerator by? I'm not sure that my students in the past could have linked the abstract equation to an area model representation.

This year, I can proudly say that my students  are successfully developing a conceptual understanding of equivalent fractions and are able to link a model to their thinking. This is important as according to Math Practice 2, students need to make sense of numbers and their quantities. 

Here's an example of a wonderful conference with a student and his group about the connection between the equation and the model: Student Conference, Making Corrections

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Memorization of Steps verses Developing a Conceptual Understanding
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Decomposing Pizza Fractions

Unit 10: Fractions
Lesson 6 of 16

Objective: SWBAT prove two fractions are equivalent using decomposing.

Big Idea: Students will fold rectangular paper "pizzas" to prove that two fractions can look differently but have the same value.

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10 teachers like this lesson
Math, Fractions, Measurement and Methods, area model, decomposing fractions, ruler, fraction equivalency, fraction tiles
  100 minutes
making observations
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