

Summary: Activities lead the students to the understanding that the larger the denominator the more parts the whole is being divided into.
Main Curriculum Tie: Mathematics Grade 3 Strand: NUMBER AND OPERATIONS  FRACTIONS (3.NF) Standard 3.NF.1 Understand that a unit fraction has a numerator of one and a nonzero denominator. Materials:
 whiteboard
 whiteboard markers
 color gel paper
 overhead projector
 scissors
 Letter to My Friendpdf
Additional Resources
Books
 Apple Fractions, by Jerry Pallotta; ISBN 0439389011
 The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Fractions Book, by Jerry Pallotta; ISBN 0439135192
 Math to Know: A Mathematics Handbook, by Mary C. Cavanagh; ISBN 0669471534
 Fraction Action, by Loreen Leedy; ISBN 082341244X
 Fraction Fun, by David Adler; ISBN 0823413411
 Piece=Part=Portion, by Scott Gifford; ISBN 0439740541
 CleanSweep Campers, by Lucille Penner; ISBN1575650967
 Inchworm and A Half, by Elinor Pinczes; ISBN 0618311017
 Give Me Half, by Stuart Murphy; ISBN 0064467018
Games
 Pizza Fraction Fun, Jr., Learning Resources (LER 5061 is the item number from the catalog;
check website or catalog for ordering)
 Pie in the Sky Fraction Game, Learning Resources (LER 5054 is the item number from the
catalog; check the website or catalog for ordering.)
 Auntie Pasta’s Fraction Game, Learning Resources (LER 5053 is the item number from the
catalog; check website or catalog for ordering.)
Attachments
Web Sites
Background For Teachers: A fundamental knowledge of number sense and relationship
(greater than, less than, equal to, grouping) needs to be in place as
well as the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide small numbers.
In addition, students should understand what the numerator and
denominator of a fraction represents and that halves, thirds, fourths,
sixths, and eighths are represented with the symbols 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6,
and 1/8. And, don't forget—keep up the attitude of curiosity, creativity,
and fun!
Intended Learning Outcomes: 1. Develop a positive learning attitude toward mathematics.
2. Become effective problem solvers by selecting appropriate methods,
employing a variety of strategies, and exploring alternative approaches to
solve problems.
6. Represent mathematical ideas in a variety of ways.
Instructional Procedures: Invitation to Learn
Divide Us! Divide Us!
Take your class outside and tell them that we are going to
explore dividing us up into parts. When you get them outside explain
that what we are going to do requires them to work together well and
quickly and that sometimes you will remove a student or two from
the group in order to facilitate correctly dividing the group. Begin by
asking the students how many there are in the whole class (at this
point you have already chosen a number you are going to divide into
halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, or eighths, e.g., 24). If you have had
to pull any students aside have them help you check for accuracy
of the work done by the others. Now ask the students to divide
themselves into halves. Make sure the students move far enough apart
that the division is clear. Use your white board and marker to have
the students help you figure out how many that fraction is equal to
after you have divided them (i.e., 1/3 of 24 is 6). Continue to do this
using student numbers of a few (612) to the entire class, having them
continue to divide into halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and eighths.
You could extend this activity by asking one fraction of the group to
do something such as jump up and down, pat their stomachs, or sit
down.
Instructional Procedures
 Have students return to desks after Divide Us! Divide Us!
activity.
 Explain to students that they are now going to make some
fraction strips that show how we can divide the whole into
equal parts and compare them.
 Give each student six different colored strips of color gel paper
(1inch x 12 inches).
 Take one colored strip and label it whole (make sure all students are using the same color—it will help as you continue
to work with the strips.
 Take a second strip and have students divide the strip in half.
Have them label each part with 1/2.
 Continue doing this with each different colored strip until
students have divided and labeled whole, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, and
1/8. This should take about 15 minutes.
 Explain that you are going to take a look at the sizes of each
fraction compared to each other.
 Have students explore the relative sizes of each fraction strip by
asking them questions such as “Which is larger: 1/2 or 1/3? 1/6
or 1/8?” It is important that as you ask questions you should
also have students explain their reasoning for which is larger.
 As you work with students on these comparisons have them
notice the denominators of these fractions. Ask the question,
“Look at the denominator. Why, if the number is bigger, do
we have smaller pieces of the whole?” As a class, explore this
and lead the students to the understanding that the larger the
denominator the more (and thus, smaller) parts the whole is
being divided into.
 Finish this lesson with the assessment activity A Letter to My
Friend.
Extensions:
 Extend this lesson by having students compare different sized
fractions with each other. For example: what is bigger 1/2 or
2/3? Is 3/4 bigger than 2/3? How many fourths are there in 1/2?
How many sixths are there in 1/2? In 3/4?
 Share the book Fraction Action with students.
 Play the game Pizza Fraction Fun, Jr. (see additional resources for
ordering option.)
Family Connections
 Check books or games out to students and allow them to take
them home to share with their families.
 Find items around the house that students can divide into
groups (beans, cereal, coins, noodles, stickers, etc.) Have them
quiz older family members and check for accuracy. Have family
members quiz the students and check for accuracy. This could
be given as a homework assignment.
Assessment Plan:
 A Letter to My Friend: Using the paper A Letter to My Friend,
have each student explain why 1/3 is larger than 1/4. Make sure
that students write the letter so that their friend understands
what they are writing. Have them use pictures, words and
numbers (or any combination of these).
 Pair students up and give them handfuls of items such as beans,
plastic coins, or small cubes. Have them show each other their
solutions that you give them to problems such as: make a pile
of 30. Show me how you divide the pile into halves. Show me
thirds. Sixths. Use any total that you can divide into halves,
thirds, fourths, sixths, or eighths.
Bibliography: Research Basis
Wood, T., (January 1996). Events in Learning Mathematics: Insight from Research in
Classrooms. Educational Studies in Mathematics, Vol. 30 (Number 1), Page 85
The author shows evidence that learning, and therefore teaching,
mathematics involves more than efficient calculations; it should
emphasize constructing mathematical meaning. This involves, among
other things, processes of conflict with previous knowledge leading to
the desire to resolve that conflict as children engage in what is referred
to as reflective thinking. It is discussed heavily that the classroom
environment is a critical factor in creating an atmosphere conducive to
students learning.
Kelley, K., (October 2003). Cultivating Classrooms with Heart. Classroom Leadership, Vol. 7
(Number2), Page 1
The need for a classroom that offers students a place to feel
accepted and safe is discussed in this article. The author presents examples that support her idea that “...what our students see and
remember of us is not what we do, but who we are. Our students
will also remember how well we helped them become who they are.”
Though the author teaches high school students, the concepts are
easily transferred to an elementary setting.
Author: Utah LessonPlans
Created Date : Jul 09 2007 16:11 PM
