Students need to have a deep understanding of fraction concepts. Our textbooks often focus on the basic skills. It’s important to provide opportunities for mathematical discourse, reason abstractly, and construct viable arguments. I adapted problems from various sources to create five stations providing opportunities for elementary students to explain their thinking about the concept of a fraction, the meaning of fractions, and reason about equivalence and addition.
The stations address these Common Core State Standards:
• CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2 Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.
• CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3 Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases, and compare fractions by reasoning about their size.
• CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.1 Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction 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.
• CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.2 Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to a benchmark fraction such as 1/2. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
You can use the stations as journal entries, group work, formative assessment and purposeful practice.
Let me know if the stations work well for you!
How do you challenge students to think deeply about fractions?