We’re back from March Break and into the swing of things! Today in math we continued with Fractions.

We’ve talked about how the numerator tells you how many pieces you have and the denominator tells you how many pieces there are.

We’ve also looked at another way of modeling fractions, the area model. Here are our fractions anchor charts:

Our lesson today was to try to figure out different fractions of a set of balloons and brownies. We started with the number 12. First the students had to find one half of 12. Most found this quite simple and were able to explain how they found the answer. The answer was the same for both balloons and brownies. It was when we got to one fifth of each that the problems began! Hmmm.

Finally, someone asked a question that got us moving forward with our thinking:

Can we cut the balloons?

Hmmm? Would they be useful if they were cut up? Nope. So that left us with remainders. 12 ballons, divided by 5 (for we were finding fifths) is two with a remainder of two.

The brownies were another story because we can cut them up. The orange Cuisinaire Rods represent the whole brownie and the red rods represent one fifth of a brownie.

We discovered that brownies CAN be divided up equally (balloons can’t) into fifths and everyone would get 2 and two fifths.

The students are now working in pairs to solve a variety of fractions of 24 balloons and brownies. They chose 24 because it is divisible by many of the denominators!

We also talked about the four categories of achievement in mathematics. These come directly from the Mathematics 1-8 Ontario Curriculum:

All the levels are equally important and work is assessed for all of them.

Watch out for the 6 + 1 traits of good writing coming later this week!