You are on page 1of 9

Lesson Research Proposal for 5th Grade

For the lesson on 11/30/17

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

1. Title of the Lesson: Lets think about how to add + .

2. Brief description of the lesson

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.

4. Goals of the Unit

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

5. Goals of the Lesson:

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.

6. Relationship of the Unit to the Standards

Related prior learning Learning standards for this Related later learning
standards unit standards

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.

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.

7. Background and Rationale

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
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
team had this in mind when discussing teacher facilitation moves to model and encourage
student to student communication of mathematical ideas.

8. Research and Kyozaikenkyu

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
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
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.

9. Unit Plan

Lesson Learning goals) and tasks

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

Lets think about how to compare and .

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

Lets think about how to compare and

3 Students understand and formalize a/b = (a x n) / (b x n) based on specific area

model comparisons from previous lessons.

Practice day: students practice creating equivalent fractions in order to compare

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

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

Students will be able to add two fractions with unlike denominators by using what
they have learned about equivalent fractions.

Lets think about how to add +

10. Research lesson

Steps, Learning Activities Teacher Supports Assessment

Teachers Questions and Expected
Student Reactions
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 +

Anticipated student responses

R1: Student represents with a tape

diagram and represents with a tape
diagram, but does not understand how to
add the and the .

R2: Student represents with a tape

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.

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.

R4: Students recognize that they cannot

add halves and fifths as posed in the

Students will recognize that they will need to

convert the two fractions to equal the same
denominator. They solve
2 x 55 = 10
and x 22 = 10
. They now will
5 4
add 10 + 10 =
10 .

Comparing and Discussing In facilitating the Do scholars

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.

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
Im still wondering in trying to use it in

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?

12. Board Plan