Fourths and Quarter Cakes

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SWBAT create and identify fourths and divide shapes into fourths. SWBAT use the standard notation of 1/4.

Big Idea

Today your students will look at the difference between a shape being divided into fourths or four parts.

Warm Up

5 minutes

I have the students gather in a circle on the carpet.  I give them each analog clock I will use the white board to write down digital times.

"I will write a time on the board using digital notation.  Your job will be to set your clock to match that time.  when you are finished, you should hold up your clock so that I can see your answer."

I repeat this with hour and half hour times.  

At this point in the year, I am reviewing established routines and concepts from the year long curriculum. This activity is meant for students who are familiar with the use of a clock and understand the basic time concepts. I also like using this warm up for a fraction lesson because of the connection between clocks and fractions (half past, quarter past, etc.).

This activity has students telling and writing times to hours and half hours (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.MD.B.3).

Looking At Fourths

15 minutes

Advanced Preparation:  You will need to create two posters (Squares Poster and Circles Poster) before the lesson starts.  You will notice that I lightly drew in the lines for quartering each shape.  This way I could make sure they were precise, and it also saves time as you start the lesson.

I start with the circle poster.

"We have been talking about halves.  What happens if I divide a circle in half (draw a line through the middle of the first circle)?  What can you tell me about the two pieces?  What if I draw another line and create 4 equal pieces?  Does anyone know what that is called?  You're correct, Fourths or Quarters.  When you break something into fourths, it not only has 4 pieces but each piece has to be equal."

The rest of your conversation should focus on the fact that fourths means 4 equal pieces, that a fourth is one part of the whole, and 4 fourths make 1 whole.

I then move onto the second circle and use a market to define the lines dividing the circle into four unequal parts.  

"Is this broken into fourths?"

I had included a video (Quartering Circles.m4v) with a student's explanation of why it is not.

I then use the squares poster and repeat the above procedure.  I have also included a photo of the Completed Squares Poster (after the discussion).  You will see that we crossed out ones that were not fourths as we went.

This activity has students partitioning shapes into four equal shares, describe the shares using the words fourths,and the phrase quarter of.  They are also asked to describe the whole as four of the shares (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.G.A.3).

Creating Quarter Cakes

40 minutes

Advanced Preparation:  You will need to make enough copies of Square Cakes for your class.  You wil also need rulers, markers, crayons, and scissors.

Please watch the video, Introducing Quarter Cakes to see how to introduce this activity to your class.

"I want you to now go find a spot int he room to work on your own cakes.  Remember to color each half a different color."

I have included a photo, Creating Cakes, of a student working on her cakes.

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

To end today's lesson, I will ask that students complete the exit ticket, Finding Fourths.  I will work with students that I saw struggling with the concept during the Quarter Cakes activity.

Continued Practice

5 minutes

I will ask the students to meet me on the carpet and hand out their sheet for today's Mad Minute exercise.  This routine was introduced in a previous lesson.  Please check out the link to get a full overview of this routine.

I want to really focus on fact fluency and build upon the students ability to solve within ten fluently (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.OA.C.6).  I am going to use the Mad Minute Routine.  This is a very "old school" routine, but I truly feel students need practice in performing task for fluency in a timed fashion.  Students need to obtain fact fluency in order to have success with multiplicative reasoning.  Students who don't gain this addition fact fluency by the end of 2nd grade tend to struggle with the multiplicative reasoning in third.  Having this fluency also allows them to work on more complex tasks because the have the fact recall to focus on the higher level concepts.