Lesson plan

Represent a fraction as a multiple of unit fractions by using pattern blocks

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.B.4a http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/4/NF/B/4/a
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP4
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP8 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP8

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Big Ideas: Fraction parts can be counted in groups, similar to how we skip count whole numbers. A non-unit fraction can be described as an accumulation of two or more of the unit fraction. The task in this lesson requires students to interpret the meaning of multiplication beyond whole numbers. Specifically, students see that when multiplying whole numbers by fractions, they can call on their understandings of what multiplication means with whole numbers. For example, they will use an area model to think of expressions such as 6 × 1/2 not only as 6 groups of 1/2, but as the result of an area that is 6 times as much area as 1/2. In this lesson, we also address the common misconception that you can multiply both the numerator and the denominator by the whole number to find the product. This is mostly a procedural misconception that can be cleared up using a conceptual approach that employs an area model as a tool. Vocabulary: multiple, factor, product, numerator, denominator, fraction, area model, unit fraction Special Materials: pattern blocks pattern block (triangular) grid paper