Bring in some real items for the class to look at. Decide as a class how to divide them up equally. Where do we divide them? Are the pieces equal? How can we make them equal? What shapes are easier to make into fractions then others? Make sure to show them a variety of shapes. Rectangles and squares are much easier to create fractions with, however students will have a hard time making the sections equal. Circles are often used in textbooks and halves and fourths are easy for students, but the rest can be very difficult. Also some students will start to divide up the rectangles like they do the circles with the point at the center and this doesn’t give equal pieces.
2 Direction Instruction
Use visual fractions to solve some problems. You can also do a pretest together as a class. This helps you understand where you need to do more work as a class, and also helps you see which students you might need to pull for extra work.
Do some examples where the shape is already divided and they need to let you know how many pieces it is divided into. Then to make it harder, name the shaded in fraction. Also take the time to divided and shade in your own fraction starting from a blank one.
3 Guided Practice
Have students use this fun app in small groups to work on fraction practice while you give individual help to the students that need it. The game has fun, but loud sound effects and you might want to make sure the volume is down low. The students can watch and interact with the videos. If you pay for the app, you also have access to progress monitoring.
4 Independent Practice
Students can explain their understanding by creating their own fractions and narrate as they solve. This is best done in pairs, but can be done individually if you have students that are comfortable with the app already. You can give them problems to solve or have them create their own. They can draw the shapes and then narrate as them create the fraction and tell you how to solve it. These videos are great to post to a class YouTube account or to post on a class blog.
5 Further application
Use the additional materials on Wowzers for more work and support. They can play games, take assessments and watch video lessons if they need extra support. In grade three they have additional resources that you might want to use with your class. When you go to the curriculum they have a section on fractions. In section 25, 'Fractions' they have 3 levels of homework, blended learning, high order thinking and writing in math.
Key Standards Supported
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.