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LESSON ONE COMPARING UNIT VALUES USING FRACTION TOWERS OBJECTIVES: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the value of a whole unit and its parts. The student will construct fractions and compare fractional parts using a concrete model. TEKS: 7.1 (A) – The student is expected to compare and order integers and positive rational numbers. 7.14 (A) – The student is expected to communicate mathematical ideas using language, efficient tools, appropriate units, and graphical, numerical, physical, or algebraic mathematical models. 7.15 (B) – The student is expected to validate his/her conclusions using mathematical properties and relationships. TOOLS AND MATERIALS: One fraction tower for each student. Fraction card set for each student. Scissors to cut the fraction cards apart. (Note: The fraction towers should be made before the lesson, either by the students, teacher, or by volunteers. See directions on how to construct the towers). EXPLORE: The student will use the fraction tower to explore unit values. Have the student demonstrate different unit values on the fraction tower. Lesson sequence and facilitation questions: - Tell students that we are going to explore unit fractions as we did in the previous lesson except we are going to use the fraction towers this time instead of the fraction bar charts. - Have students demonstrate and explain the value of a whole unit on the fraction tower using the slinky. - How much of the tower would be covered by the slinky to show one whole unit? The whole tower is one unit. - How is this value represented? By the number 1 or 1/1. - What does the symbol 1/1 tell us? It means that the number has only one part and that one part is the whole unit. - How much of the tower is covered when the slinky is “at rest” at the bottom? None. - What value is this? Zero. - Ask the students to show 1/2 on the fraction tower. Discuss how they chose where they placed the slinky. - 1/2 divides the fraction tower into two parts. Are the two parts different sizes? No, they are the same size. - Is it necessary for the parts to be equal in size? Yes. Why? Because according to the definition of a fraction, they have to be the same size. 1/2 = 1/2. - Continue as a whole group to demonstrate unit fractions on the fraction tower and on paper with symbols. Demonstrate 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, etc. to 1/12. PRACTICE: Have students work in pairs demonstrating the value of the various fractions on the fraction tower. DISCUSSION: Discuss with students the relationships between the different values. EVALUATION: Play the fraction tower card game. FRACTION TOWER CARD GAME For two players. 1/2 Materials: one fraction tower one set of fraction cards How to play: Deal all the decimal cards out into two piles, face down. Player one turns over his/her top card and models the value on the fraction tower. The other player agrees or disagrees with the placement. If they disagree, discussion determines the correct placement. A correct placement counts as one point. The second player now turns over the top card in their pile and models the fraction. The first player agrees or disagrees and discussion ensues as needed. At the end of the game, players count up the number of correct placement cards. The player with the highest number of cards correctly placed wins. Players may have the option of putting incorrectly represented cards back into their pile at random to remodel later. NOTE: improper fractions should be modeled by stretching the slinky higher than the “whole” (top of tower). Students should be able to justify their placement above the top by a certain amount. 1/2 1/3 2/3 1/4 2/4 3/4 4/4 3/2 4/3 5/2 1/5 1/8 2/8 3/8 4/8 5/8 6/8 7/8 8/8 9/8 10/8 1/9 1/10 1/12 2/12 0/12 3/12 4/12 5/12 6/12 7/12 8/12 9/12 1/20 1/15 3/15 5/15 9/15 2/5 3/5 4/5 10/5 1/6 2/6 3/6 4/6 5/6 6/6 7/6 8/6