Hello, Friends! Sorry for our long break from blogging, but we are glad to be back, and we plan to take the next few blogs to catch you up on how we ended the year.
Shifting from State Standards to CCSS for Fractions
The fraction unit was a big shift with the adoption of CCSS from previous Missouri GLEs. In the past, the first anchor chart pictured below was really all of the content that we were required to teach students over fractions. Common Core requires more in-depth understanding of how fractions fit into the number line and compare to each other. We split the requirements over three weeks and kept our anchor charts fairly similar for each week. We obviously wanted the basic understanding of what a fraction is to be taught first. Then we decided to teach equivalent fractions to make comparing fractions a little easier. We really had to dig into the CCSS language to understand for ourselves what exactly was required for third graders to know.
Week 1 Common Core Standards Taught:
- CCSS.Math.Content.3.G.A.2 Partition shapes into parts with equal areas. Express the area of each part as a unit fraction of the whole. For example, partition a shape into 4 parts with equal area, and describe the area of each part as 1/4 of the area of the shape.
- CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.1 Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
- 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.2a Represent a fraction 1/b on a number line diagram by defining the interval from 0 to 1 as the whole and partitioning it into b equal parts. Recognize that each part has size 1/b and that the endpoint of the part based at 0 locates the number 1/b on the number line.
- CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2b Represent a fraction a/b on a number line diagram by marking off a lengths 1/b from 0. Recognize that the resulting interval has size a/b and that its endpoint locates the number a/b on the number line.
- Brainpop! Fractions
- Manipulatives: Folded papers into fractional parts
- Fraction Spelling Words
- Fraction Match Game (match picture with fraction)
- Explain Your Answer
- Everyday math resources in unit 8
- Read Tennessee example questions: http://www.readtennessee.org/sites/www/Uploads/Examples/3.NF.A.2final.pdf
- 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.3.NF.A.3a Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size, or the same point on a number line.
- CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3b Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3. Explain why the fractions are equivalent, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
- CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3c Express whole numbers as fractions, and recognize fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers. Examples: Express 3 in the form 3 = 3/1; recognize that 6/1 = 6; locate 4/4 and 1 at the same point of a number line diagram.
- PBS Kids Video: http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/videos/biancas-new-pet/#!/seasons-1-8
- Brainpop! Equivalent Fractions
- Manipulatives: Everyday Math fraction cards, folded paper into fractional sections
- Color by number for fractions
- Memory game with matching equivalent fractions
- Various Everyday Math resources from unit 8
Week 3 Common Core State Standards Taught:
CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3d Compare two fractions with the same numerator or the same denominator by reasoning about their size. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Week 3 Strategies Used:
- Math Playground video: http://www.mathplayground.com/howto_comparefractions.html
- Fraction Top-It (using fraction cards from Everyday Math)
- Read Tennessee Example Questions http://www.readtennessee.org/sites/www/Uploads/Examples/3.NF.A.3final.pdf
Reflecting on the Unit
Fractions are such an abstract concept for kids to grasp, that spending at least three weeks teaching them is crucial for their understanding. We look forward to teaching this concept again so that we can focus more on helping diverse learners understand the concept now that we know what they are expected to learn :). One thing that we plan to change after having taught this unit is how this really helped students with measurement. Our students struggled when we taught them measurement before fractions. They had a difficult time understanding where 1/4 of an inch is located on a ruler. This year, we plan to teach fractions before measurement.
--Tabitha & Chloé