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Fraction Quest

Fraction Quest

Unit Summary

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.

Curriculum-Framing Questions

  • 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?

Assessment Plan

Assessment Timeline 
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.

Assessment Timeline

Before project
work begins
Students work on projects
and complete tasks
After project work
is complete

  • Journal
  • Collaboration Checklist
  • Poster Checklist
  • Project Rubric
  • Presentation Checklist
  • Research Checklist
  • Conferences
  • Storyboard
  • Questioning
  • Presentation Checklist
  • Project Rubric
  • Chart
  • Reflections

 

Assessment Process and Purpose of Assessment
Journal
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.
Poster Checklist
Students use the checklist to ensure they have included all requirements for the poster. Teachers use the checklist to assess the completed posters.
Collaboration Checklist
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.
Project Rubric
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.
Presentation Checklist
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.
Research Checklist
Students use the checklist to self-assess their progress during the research process. Teachers check during conferences to ensure students are on track.
Conferences
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.
Storyboard
Students use the storyboard to plan and monitor work on the presentation. Teachers review during conferences to ensure all requirements have been met.
Questioning
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.

Credits

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.

Fraction Quest

At a Glance

Grade Level: 3-5

Subject: Math

Topics: Fractions

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