Getting Students Thinking about Fractions

Just wanted to share some fraction fun from our first day of fraction review!  I like to dig in by really getting students thinking–no fill in the blanks for THIS review! Check out what we did today to kick off our fraction studies.

One thing I love to do is to start off lessons with discussions… we start in discussion pairs and then share out key ideas with the entire class.  These “Discussion Starters” are simply true statements that might be interpreted in different ways and can get students talking about what they might mean and to think of examples.  We practice our math talk too–adding on to what others say, asking or clarification, and so on.  We had some GREAT ideas shared!

After we got our brains warmed up with key ideas–like that fractions have equal parts, can be shown in different ways (on a number line, with shapes, with collections of objects, etc), I sent my students off with small groups to find different ways to “make” representations of different fractions–halves through eights.
As students were working, I put out a stack of post it “flags” for students to use to mark contributions they want to talk about…for whatever reason.  LOTS of discussions going on at this time!  Love it!
So…as students marked certain “samples”, I picked a few to redraw and share under the projector–and the debates began!
I just love inviting students to come up and try to use their reasoning and math language to explain their ideas in front of the class…and have their classmates agree, add on, ask for clarity, or respectfully disagree.  The fun part?  We didn’t come to any FINAL conclusions…math class doesn’t have to end when the bell rings!  Let them think and stew on things overnight.  Seriously.
If you like this lesson, you might enjoy my fraction unit–16 lessons that promote deep thinking.  It includes tons of activities, assessments, discussion topics, and more!  Check it out and see what you think–teaching fractions can be fun!