This lesson focuses mainly on 3.NF.A.3--understanding that the size of a fractional part is related to the size of the whole. Students use pattern blocks to explore different-sized wholes, and recognize what happens to the size of a fractional part as the whole changes. Core Actions 1 and 3 are strongly present in this lesson.
Part-Whole Relationships (Donnelly)Download
In this lesson, students are using concrete materials (pattern blocks) to explore the relationship between fractional parts and
wholes. This lesson explicitly targets conceptual understanding of fractional parts through the use of manipulatives,
open-ended questioning, and a strong focus on student explanations. The focus of this lesson is to explore relationships between fractional parts and wholes, rather than simply answering questions. This task promotes deep reasoning about grade-level fraction concepts, and students engage in the task appropriately.
Here, the teacher checks in with a pair of students. She asks questions that prompt the students to explain their thinking, and the students continue to talk with each other about their developing thinking after the teacher walks away.
The teacher prompts one student to be the "paraphraser" and explain his understanding of the question to his partner. His partner listens to his thinking and then shares her own understanding of the concept being explored. The teacher uses student conversation as a tool to clarify both students' mathematical understanding.
After students share some of their initial understandings about the work, the teacher poses questions about the focus of the lesson and prompts students to turn and talk with peers. The teacher gives students opportunities to explain and clarify their thinking with their peers, giving all students an opportunity to further develop their understanding of the content of the lesson. After exploring the math content, the teacher brings the class together to summarize the math. Students share their developing thinking, while the teacher uses talk moves and paraphrasing to further reinforce the focus of the lesson.