Lesson plan

Decompose a mixed number into a sum of fractions using number lines

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.B.3a http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/4/NF/B/3/a
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.B.3b http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/4/NF/B/3/b

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Big Ideas: A fraction is a number which appears as a specific point on a number line. Mixed Numbers can be expressed as a sum of fractions. An improper fraction is another way of expressing a mixed number. When adding unit fractions, the numerators will increase and denominators will stay constant. This task uses a piece of ribbon to highlight composition and decomposition of mixed numbers and number sentences. Students explore fraction equivalence through the decomposition of non-unit and unit fractions, and decompose mixed numbers using number lines to represent them as sums of fractions with the same denominator in different ways. Because the task is open-ended, students must reason through the different possibilities for the length of the ribbon pieces. This lesson plan builds toward students' future work creating visual models to show the addition and subtraction of fractions and mixed numbers with like denominators. Vocabulary: unit fraction, mixed number, improper fraction, composing fractions, decomposing fractions, number line, tick mark, numerator, denominator, equal parts