Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fractions 360

I will enlarge the diagrams for students' ease of use.
Each time I embark on a new unit, I try to tie the new unit teaching to past units' themes and learning.  I also think a lot about the range and learning profiles of my current class. Hence as we begin the fraction unit, I thought about ways that I could tie the unit to our past factors/multiples, operations, and measurement units.

First, I imagined using a number that had factors including all the numbers from 1-10, but the only number I came up with was too big to deal with.  Then I decided to settle on using the amazing number 360 which includes the factors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12---Wonderful!  Further 360 relates nicely to past measurement concepts and future angle concepts.

Now, I know that the real mathematicians out there are probably alarmed that I am seeing only a fraction of the import of 360, but I'm sure I'll see a lot more after my amazing young mathematicians start exploring this number with depth and an eye on fractions with this initial exploration packet.

This packet will give students lots of time to explore, examine and discuss fraction and number concepts.  It will also give me time to analyze, observe and reflect upon students' initial fraction understanding.  There's plenty of room here too for fourth grade enrichment, and it matches in part the fraction concepts to come.

What would you add to this exploration?  What links would you share with fourth graders related to this topic?  What other ideas do you have to enrich and extend this study? I'm looking forward to this investigation.