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MAKE YOUR OWN FRACTIONS—EARLY ALGEBRA APPROACH

Grades: 3‒6

Students use algebraic variables to build area models of equivalent fractions. For example, to create fractions equivalent to 1/2 , students construct a model of 1/2 as n/2n and then vary the value of n. As they do, visual representations of 1/2 , 2/4 , 3/6 , etc., appear on screen. Students also make fractions equivalent to 1/3 , 1/4 , 2/3 , 3/5 , and ultimately, any fraction whatsoever. Through this process, students learn that multiplying the numerator and the denominator of a fraction by the same variable can be used to create equivalent fractions.

Note: This activity is available in two versions—an area model that represents fractions as parts of a circle and an area model that represents fractions as parts of a rectangle.

OBJECTIVES 
  • Students will understand that multiplying the numerator and the denominator of a fraction by the same value creates an equivalent fraction.
  • Students will use the concept of a variable to construct equivalent fractions.

COMMON CORE CONNECTIONS 
Mathematical Practices

(1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; (2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively; (3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; (5) Use appropriate tools strategically; (7) Look for and make use of structure.

Content Standards

3.NF3; 4.NF1; 6.EE2

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This activity is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/. If you adapt and/or share this activity, you must attribute it to "KCP Technologies, a McGraw-Hill Education Company." You may distribute it only non-commercially under the same or similar license.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under KCP Technologies Award ID 0918733, with grant period September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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