Title: Grade 5 Mathematics – Fun with Fractions
This is a 60-minute mathematics lesson for Grade 5 students. The class is comprised of one ESL student who is removed for individual support for a short period of time each day. There are a four students in the class who require additional language support but are not receiving anything outside of the classroom. This lesson is an introduction to the fractions unit. The purpose is to expose students to the concept of fractions and access prior knowledge that they have obtained. All students will engage in hands-on activities to explore existing knowledge and make new connections. These activities will vary between whole class, small group and individual based learning. The main objective is for students to begin to understand that fractions can be represented in a number of different ways through verbal, written and pictorial representations. Ultimately, students must understand that fraction representations (1/2, ¼, etc.) are directly related to the whole.
- Investigate patterns involving fractions using concrete materials and drawings
- Solve problems involving decimals and fractions, and describe and explain the variety of strategies used
- Use specialized terms in different subject areas, as appropriate (numerator, denominator, etc.)
- Communicate ideas using words, drawings and symbols.
Activity 1: Introducing the quilt - Whole class
Activity 2: Finding your match – Whole class
Activity 3: Placemat & Review – Small group (4 people), Whole class
Activity 4: Problem solving – Individual and small group
Activity 5: Group work reflection – Small group
Activity 1: Mental Set
“Look closely at this object. What do you think it is? (Quilt) Accommodation: Explain what a quilt is through student input. What is a quilt used for or how is it used? How many quilts are there? (1) What else do you see or notice about the quilt? (There are a number of pieces within it) Did you know that besides keeping us warm, this quilt could help us learn math? Can you think of a way that we could use this quilt for math? Let’s find out.
(Concrete visual example will be used so that students can attach the concept of a fraction to a real object.)
Activity 2: Finding your match
Students come and take one piece. Students will be asked to choose a different colour piece than their regular group members. These pieces will determine the groups they will work in for the remainder of the exercise. Once all students have a piece of the quilt and have returned to their desk I will explain that they need to “roam” (vocabulary explained) and find the other pieces that match and stand together. The quilt pieces will be different colours and students will need to find the ones that match with their piece. Students will be asked to raise their hands once they have found their group of four. (This process will ensure that students are working with new people).
Seat “new” groups together in groups of 4.
Now we will review the objectives of the lesson with the entire class. These will be written on the board to provide visual support to ESL learners and ensure that all students stay on track throughout each exercise.
Activity 3: Placemat & Review
- Ask students to letter themselves A-D and write down the letter in their section of the placemat. Ask students to raise their hands for each letter so that the teacher can make a mental note of where ESL students are placed.
- Explain placemat and model an example.
- "You are now going to think about the things you know about fractions. You will work on your own at first and write down anything you can think of to do with fractions in your section of the placemat. This can be done with words, diagrams, drawings and numbers. Then you will talk with your group and read all the ideas that each of you contributed. Decide as a group on at least 4 things that you know about them and write them in the centre of your placemat. I will then ask each group to share their ideas by randomly selecting people to share.”
- “Please share with the person sitting across from you what you are going to do for this part of the exercise. Thumbs up/down if both you and your partner understand the task.” (I) (CFU)
- Cue Questions: "Why do we use fractions? When have you used fractions, your family members? What do they look like?"
- Students will work individually for 2 minutes and write their ideas in their section of the placemat. I will walk around to make sure that everyone is clear on the instructions and answer any questions that may arise. Then students will rotate the sheet and read the rest of the group’s ideas. They will discuss and determine at least 4 things they would like to put in the middle of the circle (5 minutes). (Group Collaboration) (Evaluation-Relate) (I) (A) (CFU)
- Important to emphasize to students:
- They are not being graded on their answers - we just want to see what each other already knows to make the upcoming lessons more valuable.
- Right now there are no wrong answers - students need to respect each other’s ideas and share openly.
- The placemat serves as a check for understanding. If there are student’s who don’t recall the basic elements of a fraction the teacher will review the basic skills and concepts. Teacher will post a diagram of a fraction with labeled parts.
Activity 4: Problem Solving
- Students will each be given an observation sheet. Teacher will model an example so that students are clear on how to fill out each section in the sheet.
- Teacher will ask the following questions:
1.Write in number form and through drawing what fraction your piece of quilt represents.
2.Write in number form and through drawing what fraction your group’s pieces of quilt represent.
I will then begin to ask groups of students to come to the front and put their pieces of quilt back on to the whole. Students will be asked to write and graph their ideas in each instance. This will help me get an understanding of students’ prior knowledge and understanding of fractions
- “Look back at the placemat you and your group created and your observation sheet. I would like you to talk with your partner and write down together on your observation sheet one new thing you learned today that you didn’t already know about fractions and/or any questions that you may have about them. (Accommodation: ESL students paired with another student will relieve the pressure of coming up with an idea on their own.) This will help us prepare for our next lesson where we are going to do some more explorations.”(Synthesis-Reflect) (I) (A) (CFU)
Activity 5: Group work evaluation
- Finally, I would like you to think about how well your group did today working together using the pie chart I have provided.” (Evaluation-Reflect) (I) (A) I will model a pie chart example before having the students fill out their sheet.
How: Teacher will assess student understanding of a fraction through any method that they are comfortable communicating (oral, pictorial, using symbols or words). Teacher will assess progress throughout the lesson through observation of group and individual activities and student participation. The placemats and recording sheets will be assessed after the lesson to help the teacher plan upcoming lessons based on student levels thus far.
Activity 1: Explain what a quilt is through student input. Concrete visual example will be used so that students can attach the concept of a fraction to a real object.
Activity 2: Now we will review the objectives of the lesson with the entire class. These will be written on the board to provide visual support to ESL learners and ensure that all students stay on track throughout each exercise.
Activity 3: Ask students to raise their hands for each letter so that the teacher can make a mental note of where ESL students are placed. Teacher will post a diagram of a fraction with labeled parts.
Activity 4: Accommodation: ESL students paired with another student will relieve the pressure of coming up with an idea on their own.
- Giant paper quilt and individual pieces
- Observation/recording sheet
Submitted by: Francesca Lavecchia & Angela Dinneen