Number and Operations—Fractions

Develop understanding of fractions as numbers.

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This problem provides students the opportunity to explore fractions in a practical context as well as identify and explain patterns and justify their ideas. Solvers are shown a sequence of five squares shaded light blue and dark blue and are asked to find what fraction of the total area of each square is covered by light blue. They are also asked to work out what the next two squares would look like if they followed the pattern. The Teachers' Notes page offers rationale, suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, and ideas for extension and support. | Activity Grade Level: 3, 4, 5 | |

In this lesson plan, students investigate ways to share different sized items between two people. Students are asked to find equivalent fractions on a number line and to order those fractions by size. Included are a video clip called Equal Amounts of Gold, two worksheets, and two assessments as well as an answer key. | Activity, Lesson Plans, Video Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6+ | |

This webpage contains a 6-minute video that shows Cara Crist working with her third grade class to create fraction strips (wholes, halves, fourths, and eighths). The students use these fraction strips to play a game of "Cover Up" where they must cover the one whole using the other fraction pieces. Crist discusses how this can be extended to "Uncover" and "Trade Up" versions of the game. This webpage also contains a PDF link that details how to play "Cover Up" and "Uncover". | Activity, Game, Video Grade Level: 3, 4 | |

This web page contains links to a video and several downloadable pdf files documenting the discussions of a fifth grade class investigating fractions. Included are a 5-minute Blue Stream video segment in which students discuss their interpretations of the "whole" and "equal parts," a document providing background information on the lesson that led to the discussion, a transcript of the video, and the teacher's lesson plan for the class. The class described here is referenced by a webinar by Deborah Loewenberg Ball, cataloged separately: Making Ambitious Mathematics Learnable By All | Instructional Strategy, Lesson Plans, Video Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6+ | |

This lesson gives students practice in applying fraction concepts, interpreting positional words, and paying attention to details. In order to decode a message, students construct new words by using fractional parts of other words as specified in the clues. A correct analysis of the clues leads to a candy bar reward. The activity could be adapted to accommodate individual classes and situations. | Activity, Lesson Plans Grade Level: 3, 4, 5 | |

In this interactive game similar to Concentration(TM) students match fractions (1/2, 1/3, 3/4, and 5/9) to images that represent those fractions. This game can be played in pairs with the printed out cards or as a whole class on the interactive white board (IWB). This resource includes teacher notes with suggestions for introducing the game, discussion questions, support suggestions, a set of cards to be printed (PDF), a blank set of cards to make your own (PDF), and a full screen version of the game. | Activity, Game Grade Level: 3, 4, 5 | |

This packet of information for teachers is designed to be used with the Dad's Cookies Problem of the Week from the Math Forum collection for grades 3 to 5. The sample problem provides an exemplar of the type of problem teachers can use to promote students' mathematical thinking and engage their interest. The key concepts addressed in this problem are fractions describing parts of a whole and addition. The packet contains the sample problem, alignment to the Common Core State Standards, an answer check, possible solutions, teaching suggestions, sample student responses, a print-ready copy of the problem, and a problem-specific scoring rubric. | Assessment, Activity, Instructional Strategy, Instructor Guide/Manual Grade Level: 3, 4, 5 | |

This document provides descriptions and examples of what each Mathematics Common Core standard means a Grade Three student will know, understand and be able to do. This "unpacking" of the standards provides instructional guidelines and was developed to assist North Carolina educators teach the Mathematics Common Core (Standard Course of Study). | Reference Materials Grade Level: 3 | |

In this interactive simulation students must determine the values for each of the Cuisenaire Rods based on the information that they are given in the prompt. This activity allows students to reason about how fractional values change based on the size of the whole. Students may use the Cuisenaire Rod activity space or use hands-on manipulatives to complete this activity. | Interactive Media Grade Level: 3, 4, 5 | |

In this article from The Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger explains changes in teaching fractions that have been shown through research to improve students' overall understanding of fractions. The article is based on research from University of Delaware, Vanderbilt University, and Carnegie Mellon University. The article also reflects shifts in the Common Core State Standards: earlier introduction of fractions and more conceptual understanding. Included in the article is a seven and a half minute audio interview with Sue Shellenbarger on The Wall Street Journal This Morning. | Reference Materials, Article, Voice Recording Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6+ |