My third grade students have been exploring fractions. For the past month, students have been delving deeper and constructing a better understanding of fractions. Last week, students cut out fraction area circles and matched them to find equivalent fraction pairs.

For the most part, students were able to match the fractions to observe equivalency. Afterwards, students discussed how to find equivalent fractions through different means. Some students made the connection between doubling the numerator and denominator, while others noticed that they could divide to find an equivalent fraction.

Early this week, students started to place fractions on number lines. They used the whiteboard and a Nearpod activity to become more accurate when identifying and labeling fractions on a line.

It was interesting to see how students showcased their understanding as the number line increased from 0-1 to 0-2, and beyond. Giving an option for students to decide which number to use seemed to encourage them to take a risk with showing their understanding.

On Wednesday, students started a fraction task related to computation. Students were asked to color each fraction bar, cut them out and organize the fraction pieces to complete given number sentences. Students had to rearrange the fraction pieces and found that there were leftover pieces, which makes this a more challenging task. You can find more information about this activity here.

This task took around a day to complete. Students struggled at first and they used a lot of trial-and-error. Students compared the fractions bars and switch the pieces around quite a bit before taping down the sum. A few students needed a second attempt to complete this.

On Friday, students used polygon blocks to show their understanding of fractions. Using polygon blocks, students were asked to take one block and label that as 1/4, 1/2, 1/8, or 1/12. They then combined at least three different blocks to find a sum of 3 1/2.

Students used whiteboards and geometry blocks to combine the fraction pieces. I observed students using different strategies to combine and then take away blocks to find the sum of 3 1/2.

Next week, students will investigate the relationship between fractions and decimals.

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