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Understanding Fractions

Grade Level
Time Needed
60 minutes

Materials Needed
Common area
Document camera
Scrap paper
Student books
Fraction manipulatives

This lesson is part of a unit on fractions. It is the first
lesson following the introduction to what fractions are.
This lesson first has students make equal parts,
introduces notation to describe these equal parts as part
of a whole, has students name fractional parts, and
finally use models drawings to show a whole in different

The background knowledge needed consists of knowing
being introduced to the idea of half in the first grade
curriculum. It also consists of the previous days
instruction to fractions, which consisted mostly of
dealing with equal parts.

Partition a rectangle into rows and columns of same-size
squares and count to find the total number of them.

Partition circles and rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, describe
the shares using the words halves, thirds, half of, a third of, etc., and
describe the whole as two halves, three thirds, four fourths. Recognize that
equal shares of identical wholes need not have the same shape.

Guiding Question:
How does one represent fractions in different ways?

I Can Statement(s):
I can understand and use halves, thirds, and fourths as equal parts of a

Focus Lesson:
A brief focus lesson will focus on introducing the vocabulary of the lesson.
[Equalsame as; unequaldifferent or not the same; wholeall of, entire;
fractionpart of a whole; one-half1/2; one-third1/3; one-fourth1/4].
Important to note that the language used is equal parts of the whole.

First partwrite I can statement and vocabulary definitions on board.

Second partwill focus on equal vs. unequal. Draw three circles and a
triangle. Divide the triangle into fourths, one of circles into fourths, one circle
in half, and the last in unequal portions. Talk about which ones are equal and
which ones arent.
Third partReview notation. Draw rectangle split up into a whole, half,
thirds, and fourths and label the pieces.
Fourth partintroduce notation of adding like-fractions i.e. 1/3+1/3+1/3=1

Guided Practice:
Students will copy the shape the teacher
makes on the board and make lines in
portions the teacher indicates. First example is 1/3
Should look like this. Have students fill in 1/3, write one-third, and 1/3 under
each portion and write the sentence 1/3+1/3+1/3=3/3=1 whole.
Have students follow suit with 1/2 and 1/4. Have students complete this with
triangles, squares, and circles.
IF TIME (need five minutes)
Introduce the idea of 2/3, 2/4, and 3/4
IF TIME (need 15 minutes so would need to start by 1:15)
Bring back to circle area and demonstrate how to play a quick game.
With a partner I will make a shape and draw in either a fourth, third, or
half of that shape. Partner will need to label what the portions are and
give me the number sentence to go along.

Independent Practice:
As an evaluative tool, all students will complete independent practice at the
end of the lesson. This will be modeled at 1:33 to give the students from 1:35
to 1:45 to complete the two pages from their student book (p. 81-82). This
will be entirely independent though Mr. Schmidt will walk around helping
explain directions. Students will raise their hands to indicate that they have
completed the pages. Mr. Schmidt will do a quick check of the work and
release those who have completed them correct to read quietly while others
are finishing.


Some of the lower students (Thomas, Kahli, and Chase) will work with Mrs.
Tollas in a small group given her availability.