Skip to main content

Lesson

4th grade math - Understanding Fractions

Clip 7/10: Lesson 3, Part A

Overview

On the third day of the learning segment, Michelle Makinson challenges her students to work with various representations of fractional wholes. She reminds students of the connections between set and area models, verbal representations, contextual representations/ word problems, and number lines. Her students do a quick-write about which representation(s) made the most sense to them and why. Students then create multiple representations for different fractions and share them in various ways—with partners, by showing their whiteboards to the class, and by mingling with other students.

Teacher Commentary

MICHELLE MAKINSON: We did lots of work and lessons throughout the school year on growth mindset. We’re really into that. We've spearheaded things like poster campaigns where kids come to our room area at recess and answer questions that relate to growth mindset. “Is it okay to make a mistake? What do you get out of making mistakes?”

Going back and looking at your work has to be something that you're constantly doing. It's not just accidental. We look at how you could present this information. We look at excellent examples from their classmates — not every time; I don’t want to do the same person over and over again — but sometimes there is an example. Sometimes there isn't. This really worked for the entire group.

I want them to know when they don't have it. They can't know that they don't have it until they are looking at somebody reacting to their own stuff because they're right in the middle of being able to develop their metacognitive skills, to think about their own thinking.