School Improvement in Maryland

Gr. 4 Unit: Extend Understanding of Fraction Equivalence

Unit Overview

This unit extends the understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering that was first introduced in Grade 3. Students will use visual fraction models to explore how the number and size of the parts differ between two fractions even though they are equivalent. Students will recognize and generate equivalent fractions. Students will compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing them to a benchmark fraction such as &;frac12. It is important for students to understand that the comparison is only valid when the two fractions refer to the same whole or set. Students will use the symbols >, =, or < to record their comparison and use visual fraction models to justify their conclusions.

The Common Core stresses the importance of moving from concrete fractional models to the representation of fractions using numbers and the number line. Concrete fractional models are an important initial component in developing the conceptual understanding of fractions. However, it is vital that we link these models to fraction numerals and representation on the number line. This movement from visual models to fractional numerals should be a gradual process as the student gains understanding of the meaning of fractions.

Essential Questions:

  • What is a fraction?
  • How is it different from a whole number?
  • How can I represent fractions in multiple ways?
  • Why is it important to compare fractions as representations of equal parts of a whole or of a set?
  • Why is it important to understand and be able to use equivalent fractions in mathematics or real life?
  • How are equivalent fractions generated?
  • How will my understanding of whole number factors help me understand and communicate equivalent fractions?
  • How are different fractions compared?

A question is essential when it stimulates multi-layered inquiry, provokes deep thought and lively discussion, requires students to consider alternatives and justify their reasoning, encourges re-thinking of big ideas, makes meaningful connections with prior learning, and provides students with opportunities to apply problem-solving skills to authentic situations.

Unit Lesson

Additional information such as Teachers Notes, Enduring Understandings,Content Emphasis by Cluster, Focus Standards, Possible Student Outcomes, Essential Skills and Knowledge Statements and Clarifications, and Interdisciplinary Connections can be found in this Lesson Unit.

Available Model Lesson Plans

The lesson plan(s) have been written with specific standards in mind. Each model lesson plan is only a MODEL - one way the lesson could be developed. We have NOT included any references to the timing associated with delivering this model. Each teacher will need to make decisions related ot the timing of the lesson plan based on the learning needs of students in the class. The model lesson plans are designed to generate evidence of student understanding.

This chart indicates one or more lesson plans which have been developed for this unit. Lesson plans are being written and posted on the Curriculum Management System as they are completed. Please check back periodically for additional postings.

CCSC Alignment: 4.NF.A.1

Students use visual models of fraction to create equivalent fractions and record their results using symbols.

Available Model Lesson Seeds

The lesson seed(s) have been written with specific standards in mind. These suggested activity/activities are not intended to be prescriptive, exhaustive, or sequential; they simply demonstrate how specific content can be used to help students learn the skills described in the standards. Seeds are designed to give teachers ideas for developing their own activities in order to generate evidence of student understanding.

This chart indicates one or more lesson seeds which have been developed for this unit. Lesson seeds are being written and posted on the Curriculum Management System as they are completed. Please check back periodically for additional postings.

CCSC Alignnment: 4.NF.A.1

Students identify and explain why a fractional portion of a shape is or is not equivalent to one half.

CCSC Alignnment: 4.NF.A.1-2

Students use visual manipulatives to find equivalent fractions for whole numbers.

CCSC Alignnment: 4.NF.A.1

Students justify their thinking about whether Tia and Ramon painted the same fractional part of their walls or if one painted more than the other.

CCSC Alignnment: 4.NF.A.1-2

Students discover the numerical relationship between equivalent fractions (Multiplying the numerator and the denominator by the same number yields an equivalent fraction.)

CCSC Alignnment: 4.NF.A.1

Students use concrete materials to find equivalent fractions of a set and record them symbolically. They also explore the fact that if you multiply a fraction by a fraction equivalent to 1, it will yield an equivalent fraction.

CCSC Alignnment: 4.NF.A.2

Students use equivalent fractions to create a class quilt.

CCSC Alignnment: 4.NF.A.2

Students compare two fractions using a benchmark such as one half, record their comparisons on the number line and justify their thinking.