Reflection: Complex Tasks Representing Fraction Multiplication - Section 2: Mural Madness


This question was difficult for many of my students to grasp.  They were able to understand which part of the mural each student agreed to complete, but they struggled with finding the part of the mural that they actually had finished. 

For groups who were struggling to start the problem, I had them draw separate murals to show what fraction of the entire mural each student agreed to do.  Then I prompted them to pick one of the students and focus on how much he/she actually completed.  This helped students to scaffold the complex task for students who were unsure of where/how to begin.  By only focusing on one mural painter’s work at a time, they were more able to engage with the problem.  At the end of the work time, many groups were not finished with the problem and that was okay.  After the practice section, I revisited the mural problem and asked students to make connections and share strategies.

Math Practice 1 wants students to be able to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.  The mural problem is a complex task.  The goal of the problem was to get students thinking about how to show and calculate a part of a part.  Although I ended up scaffolding the problem, I did not show or tell students ways to solve it.  I will remove this scaffold in the next lesson, where students have additional practicing model a multiplication word problem.

  Complex Tasks and MP1
  Complex Tasks: Complex Tasks and MP1
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Representing Fraction Multiplication

Unit 4: Fraction Operations
Lesson 8 of 19

Objective: SWBAT: • Multiply fractions using visual models.

Big Idea: Riley has only completed one-third of her part of the mural. How can you find 1/3 of 1/2? Students extend their understanding of multiplication to fractions and area models.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, 6th grade, master teacher project, area model, multiplying fractions
  60 minutes
unit 4 7 image
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