This lesson emphasizes the concept of equivalency, which connects to the fifth grade standard 5.NF “Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions.” In order to use the concept to add and subtract, students need to understand equivalent fractions. This builds on the third and fourth grade standards related to this concept: 3.G.2 “Partition shapes into parts with equal areas. Express the area of each part as a unit fraction of a whole”; 3.NF.2 “Represent a fraction 1/b on a number line diagram by defining the interval from 0 to 1 as the whole and partitioning it into b equal parts”; 4.NF.1 “Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (n x a)(n x b) by using visual fraction models with attention to how the number and size of the parts differ even though the two fractions themselves are the same size. Use this principle to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.”

This formative re-engagement lesson titled “Interpreting Fractions” began with a pre-assessment, “Fractions” that involved placing fractions on a number line and providing a justification for the placement using ½ and 1 as benchmarks. The class introduction involved using whiteboards to represent fractions using symbolic notation, area models, measurement (number lines), sets, and fractional situations (word problems). The collaborative task began by having students match fractions represented by numbers (Card Set A) with area models (Card Set B). This video shows the next part of the activity in which students match Card Set C showing a measurement model (number line) with the previous sets. The following lessons will have students match fractional sets and situations (Card Sets D and E). After this, students will do a gallery walk to compare their thinking with that of other groups and to use a justification to critique matches with which they disagreed. The final step is the post-assessment where students will again take the “Fractions” assessment to see their growth and reflect on what they have learned.

Taught by: Michelle Kious, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School District, Daly City, California

Mathematical Strands:

- Number & Operations: Fractions

- Geometry

- Interpreting Fractions PDF: lesson plan, student pages, pre- and post-assessments, and supporting instructional materials
- Discussion Stems PDF
- Student Work 1 PDF
- Student Work 2 PDF
- Student Work 3 PDF
- Student Work 4 PDF
- Student Work 5 PDF
- Student Work 6 PDF