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At NCTM Regional Conference: Chicago

Instructor: Alex Johansen Laughlin

Lesson plan developed by: Ms. Laughlin, Ms. Fulmer, Ms. Rosario, Ms. OGara, Ms. Murdock,

Mr. Friesema

Students will learn how to add fractions with unlike denominators, where both denominators

must be changed.

3. Research Theme

Teach scholars to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them by teaching math

through problem solving.

Teach scholars to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others through

note-taking, board word and students discourse.

a) Students will be able to find equivalent fractions using a variety of strategies

b) Students will understand that in order for two fractions to be added or subtracted, they

must have the same denominator

a) Students will understand that in order to add two quantities, the two quantities must have

the same unit. In the case of fractions, they will understand that the denominator of the

fraction represents the unit fraction.

Related prior learning Learning standards for this Related later learning

standards unit standards

CCSS-M 4.NF.1 CCSS-M 5.NF.A.1 CCSS-M 6.NS.A.1

Explain why a fraction a/b is Add and subtract fractions Interpret and compute

equivalent to a fraction (n x with unlike denominators quotients of fractions, and

a)/(n x b) by using visual (including mixed numbers) by solve word problems involving

fraction models, with attention replacing given fractions with division of fractions by

to how the number and size of equivalent fractions in such a fractions, e.g., by using visual

Template created by Lesson Study Alliance, last revised 6/3/17. This work is licensed under a Creative

Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

1

the parts differ even though way as to produce an fraction models and equations

the two fractions themselves equivalent sum or difference to represent the problem.

are the same size. Use this of fractions with like

principle to recognize and denominators. For example,

generate equivalent fractions. 2/3 + 5/4 = 8/12 + 15/12 =

23/12. (In general, a/b + c/d =

(ad + bc)/bd.)

CCSS-M 4.NF.3d

Solve word problems involving

Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of

addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same

fractions referring to the same whole, including cases of

whole and having like unlike denominators, e.g., by

denominators, e.g., by using using visual fraction models or

visual fraction models and equations to represent the

equations to represent the problem. Use benchmark

problem. fractions and number sense of

fractions to estimate mentally

and assess the

reasonableness of answers.

For example, recognize an

incorrect result 2/5 + 1/2 = 3/7,

by observing that 3/7 < 1/2.

According to the CCSM-M for 5th grade, students should apply their understanding of

fractions and fraction models to represent the addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike

denominators as equivalent calculations with like denominators.

An important aspect of this expectation from the CCSS-M is that students have a solid

understanding of a fraction as a number. This understanding of a fraction as one number with

the numerator indicating quantity and the denominator identifying the unit ( is 2 one-fifths) is

important for students to understand as they develop fluency with operations with fractions.

Fractions are a particularly difficult topic for elementary school students because of the

various ways that fractions can be used. Students are first exposed to fractions using area,

shape, region, and linear models. This part-whole relationship typically has students exploring

fractions less than one and up to one. Another way they are introduced is in proportion

problems ( of 30 is 12). It can be quite challenging for students to understand as both a

number on the number line between 0 and 1 as a relative quantity, as in the case of of 30 is

12.

A school wide goal at Prieto is to encourage student development of the mathematical

practices articulated in the CCSS-M through the relationship between student note-taking,

teacher board writing, and mathematical discussion. As a professional learning community we

have focused on a specific part of SMP 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the

reasoning of others. To be able to develop a positive identity as a mathematician, students

need to be able to justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the

arguments of others.

Our students are still developing the skills necessary to engage in a comparison and

discussion that allows for the free flow of mathematical ideas, justifications, and critiques. The

2

team had this in mind when discussing teacher facilitation moves to model and encourage

student to student communication of mathematical ideas.

In designing this unit and lesson the team first looked at the Common Core State

Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M). According to the CCSS-M, one critical area of focus is

developing fluency with addition and subtraction with fractions. Students need to be able to

apply their understanding of fractions and fraction models to represent the addition and

subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators as equivalent calculations with like

denominators.

In the Progressions for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics published by

the University of Arizona, the Common Core Standards Writing Team describes how

understanding of fractions progresses from 3rd to 5th grade. In 3rd grade students do some

preliminary work with equivalent fractions, recognizing in their experiences working with number

lines, that many points on the number line have more than one fraction that can name that point.

For instance, they see that the same point on the number line that is is also 2/4 and 3/6.

In 5th grade students use their understanding of area models and number line diagrams

in 4th grade to reason about the equivalent fractions, and to ultimately see the numerical

process of multiplying the denominator and numerator by the same number results in an

equivalent fraction. In 5th grade scholars use this understanding to begin adding and

subtracting fractions with unlike denominators where one of the denominators is a factor of the

denominator in the other fraction. Through experiences operating with decimals such as tenths

and hundredths and using fraction strips to think about how to add halves and fifths, 5th grade

scholars understand that in order to add two fractions together they have to have the same unit

fraction.

In 5th grade students extend adding like unit reasoning to situations where both fractions

need to be expressed as equivalent fractions in order for them to have the same unit fraction in

order to add or subtract the two fractions. The Eureka Math (Engage NY) encourages the

concept of fractions as units. If students understand that 3 bananas + 2 bananas = 5 bananas,

then they know that 5 tenths plus 4 tenths = 9 tenths. Students are introduced to fractions

through paper folding to create fraction strips, which lends itself to the tape diagram. Students

move from the tape diagram to the area model (to show multiplicative relationship), then to the

number line (derived from the tape diagram), decomposing each to find equivalent fractions.

Students first exposure to generating equivalent fractions is through decomposing the

area model. Students then use this area model to demonstrate how equivalent fractions can be

created through multiplication and division (multiplying and dividing the numerator and

denominator by the same number, i.e. one). Students continue to increase their capacity for

justifying fraction equivalency by relating the tape diagram to the number line. This will allow

them to eventually reason using benchmark fractions of 0, , 1, 1 , and 2 in order to perform

operations with unlike denominators. In fifth grade, students are progressing away from

needing concrete models to find equivalency and are able to more fluently use their

understanding of multiplication, division, and common factors to create equivalent fractions in

order to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators.

3

9. Unit Plan

1 Compare fractions with unlike denominators where one unit fraction is a multiple of

the other.

Students will compare fractions with unlike denominators where one denominator is

a multiple of the other using area models or compare the two fractions on a number

line.

2 Compare two fractions with unlike denominators where both denominators must be

changed.

Students will understand that to be able to compare, they have to have the same

size pieces (common denominator) and will appreciate how using a/b = (a x n) / (b x

n) to find an equivalent fraction is useful in problems where drawing an area model

would be impractical.

Students will compare 2 fractions with unlike denominators where the one

denominator is not a factor of the other fractions denominator.

model comparisons from previous lessons.

fractions with different but related denominators (one denominator is a factor of the

other).

4 Research Lesson: Students will understand that to add two fractions they have to

have the same denominator because the denominator represents the the unit

fraction.

Students will be able to add two fractions with unlike denominators by using what

they have learned about equivalent fractions.

4

10. Research lesson

Teachers Questions and Expected

Student Reactions

Introduction

Teacher will begin lesson by asking

class what + is in order to compare and

contrast this problem with

the new problem for today, + .

Posing the Task Scholars will write the Do students

Brandon walks 21 mile to Prieto. After story of Arellys recognize

school, he walks 52 mile from Prieto to pendulum in their that this is an addition

Alisons house. How far did Brandon walk, notebooks as the situation? That they

altogether? teacher writes it on the have to add and

board. to find the length of

the new pendulum?

What is an expression that represents this Scholars will discuss

problem? what number sentence Do students

represents Arellys new recognize

+ pendulum. that they cannot add

+ because they

How do mathematicians add fractions The class will establish are expressed using

with unlike denominators? before students begin to different units?

work independently that

+ is the number Do they see a need

to find equivalent

sentence that goes with

fractions with the

this story. The class will

same denominator?

also establish that this is

a problem that is different

from those they have

seen in the past by

comparing it to a problem

they can solve very

quickly such as +

5

Anticipated student responses

diagram and represents with a tape

diagram, but does not understand how to

add the and the .

diagram and represents with a tape

diagram. Students recognizes they can

break their halves into tenths and their fifths

into tenths and count up the number of

tenths to find 9 tenths.

6

R3: Students uses number line divided into

halves and fifths, starts at moves 2 fifths

to the right, and recognizes that they end up

at a point between 4 fifths and 5 fifths. They

reason that they need to add an interval in

between fifths on their number line and

notice that these are tenths because they

equally divide the space between 0 and 1

into ten equal parts. Students then realize

that the point on the number line between 4

fifths and 5 fifths is 9 tenths.

add halves and fifths as posed in the

problem.

convert the two fractions to equal the same

denominator. They solve

7

1

2 x 55 = 10

5

and x 22 = 10

4

. They now will

5 4

add 10 + 10 =

9

10 .

discussion it is important understand that the

The comparison and discussion begins with that the teacher asks fractions have

a student that made a tape diagram for questions of the student different unit fractions

and a tape diagram for , but because they

that shares R2 to get and cannot be added

cannot easily subdivide halves into fifths,

them to recognize that together as they

they get stuck and are unsure how to add

the two fractions because the unit fractions when they broke in two currently are

are different sizes and they are unsure how pieces, those two new represented? Do

to proceed when you have to change both pieces are each 1/10. they understand that

fractions into an equivalent fraction in order The conversation needs an equivalent fraction

to add. In this case you need to change to make it clear to is needed so that we

halves into tenths and fifths into tenths. students that the are adding together

confusion R1 had with the same size units?

Next, a student with Response 2 comes up

not being able to add

to share their response. In R2, a scholar

halves and fifths is

has created a tape diagram similar to

student with Response 1, but they are able resolved by breaking the

to break the 5ths into tenths and the halves into 5/10 and the into

into tenths to come up with the equivalent 4/10. Now they are able

fractions 5/10 and 4/10 and add them to add the fractions

together to find the answer, 9/10. together because they

are the same unit, tenths.

R3 shares how they used the number line

with both and 1/10 intervals on it to find

R4 uses the algorithm for

equivalent fractions and to make sense of

generating equivalent

how to add and .

fractions that had been

R4 shares their ideas about how they previously justified by the

recognized that they could not add halves class using area models

and fifths together because they are while comparing fractions

different unit fractions. They recognize that with unlike denominators.

2 and 5 are both factors of 10, so they can

make equivalent fractions that have a

denominator of 10 so that the equivalent

fractions can be added together.

Summing up The teacher will write the Does the summary

Today as a hard working class we summary on the board accurately represent

learned that we can add fractions with while students write the the students view of

unlike denominators by using equivalent summary in their the lesson?

fractions to find a common denominator. notebooks.

8

Reflection Teacher will post What evidence is

sentence starters on the there

+ board for students to in the student

Sentence starters for student choose from. reflections that they

reflections: appreciate the

Today, my smart partner, ___________, efficiency

showed me of R4 and are

interested

Im still wondering in trying to use it in

the

future?

11. Evaluation

Do scholars utilize their previous understanding of equivalent fractions and unit fractions to think

about how to add fractions with unlike denominators? How do scholars use models to make

their thinking known?

Does the research lesson design encourage students to justify their ideas using mathematics, to

critique the reasoning of others, and to persevere in problem solving?

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