Fractions Day 10: Show Me the Fraction!

Happy Thursday! I had thought about moving on to comparing, but a friend (You TOTALLY rock, Jen H.!) suggested thinking about fractions over a whole. Now that I have another week out of school, we reviewed with all of the denominators and moved slowly into mixed fractions.

A couple of things before we start…

  • Chris is in second grade, but even if he knew his multiplication facts I would never start there with fractions. Notice everything we have done has been built from the manipulatives (fraction kit) and not from rules or procedures. This is done on purpose, as you will see the power of it on Day 12.
  • We go slow to grow. You may think, “Could she GO any slower on these? Let’s move along now!” Remember, you get it. They do not. Let them process, let them get comfy, let them be successful. The slow to grow will pay off time and time again, versus speeding up and having to reteach time and time again. As the guide on this fraction journey, you choose your path, so choose wisely.
  • Though I have had Chris convince me with the fraction strips for most of these lessons, you will notice that I will slowly stop requiring it if he shows he is understanding. If I am unsure or not convinced, we can always go back to the physical models.
Fractions I read aloud for Chris to model and name symbolically.
  1. Played, “Cover it Up!” three times with the old dice (halves, fourths, eighths, and sixteenths).
  2. I read fractions aloud one by one and Chris modeled them with his fraction kit. He then wrote next to each what the symbolic fraction looked like. (This was a GOOD thing to do, as there were a few he wasn’t sure which was the numerator and which was the denominator.) Above are the fractions I read. Notice that each numerator is one of the pieces from our fraction kit, to ensure that he understood the numerator tells me the number of the size pieces. The denominator is the actual size of the pieces (How many of them make a whole). The last fraction was to get into our next part.
  3. I wrote 3/2 on the board and he modeled it with the fraction pieces. Is this longer or shorter than a whole? (Longer) How do you know? (Demonstrated with the blue 1 whole strip.) How much longer is it than a whole? (1/2 more). We did this several times using similar questioning until he could answer without using the fraction strips. Below are the fractions I wrote for him to model and discuss.
Fractions I wrote down for Chris to represent and rename as a whole and a unit fraction.

Notice the fractions I wrote were only a unit fraction more than the whole. This was intentional, as I really wanted him to understand that 1 = a/a. For example, 5/4 is 4/4 and 1/4 more. This will be very important for the next two lessons! Also, the fractions were done in the order we created them. I knew he had more familiarity with the halves, fourths, etc. Therefore I started at a place of comfort before moving to the new sets and to fractions we could not represent with our kit.

Thinking about 5/4 as 4/4 and another 1/4.

Fractions Day 10: Show Me the Fraction!

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