Objective: Students will be given 6 different colors of paper and will make fraction strips of paper representing whole, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, and 1/8 in 15 minutes.
This lesson is an example of a Cognitive Apprenticeship
The students will walk into the room and find a tray of brownies at the front of the classroom. They will wonder what they are for and be very curious. Once everyone has taken their seats explain to them that you are going to break them into different pieces to represent fractions of the whole. Show the students how you would break them in half. As you are showing them, be sure to speak out loud and explain what you are doing and why. Once the brownies have been cut, let each student have a fraction of the brownie. (Modeling: the first step in cognitive apprenticeship)
At the end of this activity, students will have explored their fraction strips and will understand what a numerator and denomenator of a fraction represents. They will also see the relationship between whole, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, and 1/8. They will also understand that the larger the denominator, the more parts the whole has been broken into.
- First students will be given 6 sheets of different colored paper. Tell them that these pieces are whole pieces of paper. Model for them how to write whole on their piece of paper. Have them write whole on one of the papers.
- Next, show the students how to cut one of the pieces in half and write 1/2 on both pieces of paper. As you are doing each step, be sure to model for the children. After you have showed them, talk them through doing their own. Be sure to remind those that may be struggling.
- Do these same steps with each piece of paper. (make strips that are 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, and 1/8)
- As they cut the pieces of paper, tell them to talk themselves through each step. Also, remind them to write the fractions on the paper. After watching the teacher model, and coach them through the steps, they should be able to use self talk and talk their way through the steps. Eventually they will be able to do it with inner speech. (Scaffolding: step 3)
- After all of the pieces of paper are cut, guide them by asking them questions about each piece of paper? Why are the pieces of paper with the largest number on the bottom, smaller than the rest? As you are asking each question have them articulate their knowledge and put it into their own words. (Articulate: Step 4)
- After students have explored their strips of paper by them selves, have them write down why they think the largest number on the bottom is the smallest piece of paper. (Reflect: step 5)
- At the end of the discussion all of the students will understand that the bigger the number on the bottom, the more parts the whole has been broken into. Ask them to explore new ways to apply what they are learning. Give them an assignment to go home and find different ways that fractions are used. ex: cooking measurements. (Explore: step 6)