by Katie Crozier (May 2021)
My Y3 children missed out on the Y2 fractions unit of work last year during the time of school closures, and from the pre-unit assessment it was clear that I needed to start at the beginning of the fractions journey. This suited me well as there is some excellent materials available to support this using the Y3 NCETM PD materials fractions spine. However, these teaching slides alone didn’t provide the rich fractions experience that I wanted the Y3s to have. So, plans for fabulous fractions week began to be formed.
Playdough was made, string was bought, and scales were found from the DT cupboard at school. I knew that I wanted the children to experience fractions of area, discrete quantities and lines as well as thinking about a half and a quarter as numbers in their own right. I hoped that giving the children opportunities to cut, fold, draw, check, refine and discuss fractions in different contexts would help to secure deep understanding. I wanted them to strengthen their visual picture of fractions and understand the link with division.
During the week we explored fractions through the contexts of weight, capacity, length and time. The photographs show some of the things we did.
I am always on the lookout in my classroom for moments of mathematical joy. There were plenty this week. The sheer joy of the scales finally turning to 500 grams, the chalk line that was actually very close to being 50cm long and the successful hunt for the right fraction of stones that led to the next challenge. Counting quarters of oranges also brought a smile to faces as the children skipped out to break with a refreshing snack on a warm day.
The children certainly had fun, and early indications are that a good grounding of understanding has started to be formed.
What fabulous fractions have we missed? Do you have some ideas for other fabulous fractions tasks that we could do?