Reflection: Vertical Alignment Fractional Parts of an Hour (Day 1) - Section 2: Guided Practice


There is no such term as "double abstraction" and it's actually a silly phrase, but it's how I think of tasks such as what is being asked of students in this lesson.  Not only is time a very abstract and complete intangible concept, but in this lesson it's being used as an overlay for the beginning of our exploration of fractions.  Why attempt something with a double layer of complexity?  

I made the choice to do this because what third graders need to understand about time is vertically aligned to what they need to know about fractions.  All of our expressions about time involve chunking the given quantity of time into an implied, if not explicit, fraction.  So while it may be initially difficult for students to move from the concepts of 1 minute as a 60th of an hour through the intervals of 5, 10, 15 and 20 to the idea of 30 minutes as 1/2 of an hour, they have heard people talk about time enough, and have worked with it sufficiently in class at this point, for there to be a framework into which the content of this lesson can nestle itself.  

Any time there is a multi-layered task such as this, there are bound to be not only student questions (a given) but also student ideas and approaches that aren't something I considered in the planning of this lesson.  For that reason, it's important to be flexible, and move with the students where they need to go.  If the study guide (formerly know as a, gasp, worksheet) isn't completed, nothing is lost. It's an old paradigm that says that all the paperwork must be completed for learning to occur. Everything I put on the study guide is meaningful, but don't be afraid to leave it by the wayside if your students' line of inquiry leads elsewhere.  While the content of this lesson is foundation, that can always be returned to at a later date.  The primary goal is that students begin to see the different ways in which different size parts can add up to the same whole.

  Double Abstraction
  Vertical Alignment: Double Abstraction
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Fractional Parts of an Hour (Day 1)

Unit 6: Time
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: SWBAT manipulate fraction pieces that represent different parts of an hour to create combinations that equal 1 hour in all.

Big Idea: Teaching about time is a natural entry point for talking about fractions! The two categories do not need to be separate from each other.

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