Students are assigned to a profession that uses fractions on the job. They research, summarize, draw conclusions, and present their findings to the class answering questions such as, Does accuracy really matter that much? and How are fractions used on the job and are they needed to get the job done right? Students learn to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions to help answer the Unit Question, How can understanding fractions make your life easier? As a culminating activity, students reflect on the importance of knowing fractions in the assigned profession and in their own lives both now and in the future.
- Essential Question
Does accuracy really matter that much?
- Unit Questions
Are fractions important or would we be better off without them?
How are fractions used on the job and are they needed to get the job done right?
How can understanding fractions make your life easier?
- Content Questions
What is a fraction?
How do you add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions?
What is the difference between a numerator and a denominator?
This timeline shows in chronological order the different types of formal and informal assessments that occur during the unit. The table below explains how each assessment is used and who uses it for what purpose.
| Students work on projects
and complete tasks
| After project work
|Assessment||Process and Purpose of Assessment|
||Students answer prompts in their math journals related to the Unit Questions and the fraction activities. Teachers review for understanding and provide additional lessons as necessary.|
||Students use the checklist to ensure they have included all requirements for the poster. Teachers use the checklist to assess the completed posters.|
||Students use the checklist to monitor their collaboration skills as they work together on the poster. Teachers review with students during conferences and prompt students to refer to it during group work.|
||Students use the rubric to help guide them through the entire project. Teachers use the journal, checklists, storyboard, conference notes, and reflections to assess conceptual understanding using the rubric as a guide.|
||Students use the checklist to help them through the drafting and writing phases of the presentation. The teacher uses the checklist to assess content integration and the overall effectiveness of the presentation.|
||Students use the checklist to self-assess their progress during the research process. Teachers check during conferences to ensure students are on track.|
||Teachers schedule individual conferences to assess the students’ mathematical understanding, critical thinking, collaboration, and the research process. Conferences allow time for feedback, clarifying misunderstandings, or providing additional lessons as necessary. Questions and notes provide documentation for final project assessment.|
||Students use the storyboard to plan and monitor work on the presentation. Teachers review during conferences to ensure all requirements have been met.|
||Teachers use questioning strategies to monitor student progress, probe for understanding, and engage students in higher-order thinking. Teachers also return to Curriculum-Framing Questions throughout the project to analyze student understanding.|
|Chart||Teachers record students’ answers to the Unit and Essential Questions after each presentation. This helps students revisit their learning, make connections, and prepare for the final reflection.|
|Reflections||Students reflect on their learning by relating how knowing fractions helps them now and in the future. Teachers review final reflections to assess student growth in understanding.|
David Frankle participated in the Intel® Teach Program, which resulted in this idea for a classroom project. A team of teachers expanded the plan into the example you see here.
At a Glance
Grade Level: 3-5
Higher-Order Thinking Skills: Problem Solving, Making Inferences, Generalizing
Key Learnings: Fractions, Problem Solving, Research Techniques
Time Needed: 20 sessions, 45 minutes per session, plus time for individuals and small groups to work on computers