Sparking Curiosity For Fractions With Tasks That Feel Real to Students

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Third grade teacher Maria Franco holds up two watermelons to demonstrate a fractions problem. (Teaching Channel)

Fractions come up all the time in everyday life, and yet, they are often a difficult concept for elementary school-aged children to grasp. One way to help kids understand fractions as concrete things is to give them real world examples. In this Teaching Channel video, third grade teacher Maria Franco teaches a lesson on equivalent fractions in which she tries to give more space for student thinking and discussion.

Instead of asking all the questions, Franco says, "I'm going to see how you guys work by yourselves." She's circling the room, listening for understanding and interesting solving problem techniques. Rather than asking the questions, she's listening to her students push one another to defend their problem solving.

"You came up with you own idea. It doesn't have to be the same as mine as long as we get the same answer," Franco said.

Understanding Fractions through Real-World Tasks from Teaching Channel on Vimeo.