The most important concept for beginning fraction masters to understand is parts of wholes or parts of sets. Students see and hear parts and wholes in use daily, but representing those values numerically can be challenging. Begin first with shapes that have been divided up into equal shares (circles, squares, hexagons, etc.), and then once students have grasped the concept, move on to fractions of sets. Fractions of a set is a far more useful concept for world problems and real-world application.
One example might be:
1/4 of the class is 6 students, how many students are in the class?
In this activity, students will create different examples of fraction sets by creating equal groups of simple shapes or objects and color coding the groups. The template that comes with the assignment is blank, but the example above can be modified in order to meet the needs of your students and added as a secondary template. Make it more challenging by adding rows and/or columns, providing less guiding information in the description boxes, or having students choose the number and types of objects. Don't forget to update the instructions so students know what is expected of them!
Grade Level 3-4
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or GroupCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard that gives examples of fraction sets using colored shapes.
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