Third graders have recently started a new unit in math: Reasoning with Fractions. As students are gaining an understanding of what a fraction is, they are realizing that there are fractions all around us. Some observations they have made include recipes, a gas gauge, food, money, a clock, and a calendar. They have made the connection that we can use fractions to describe many things in everyday life. Students even made pizzas with several toppings and described their pizza by telling how much of each topping was on the pizza.
Students are now going to use this understanding of fractional parts to design an obstacle course. Students have already decided on the obstacles that they will include in their course. Next, they will design their course in a straight line and describe the fractional part of the course that each obstacle represents. They will describe what fraction of the course are coordination activities and what fraction of the course are aerobic activities.
It’s very important for students to see why what we are learning matters. I have really enjoyed having students come to class sharing their observations of how we use fractions in everyday life. I have encouraged all of my students to continue to look for fractions around us.