Friday, August 9, 2013

Fractions: Common Core Edition

Hello, Friends!  Sorry for our long break from blogging, but we are glad to be back, and we plan to take the next few blogs to catch you up on how we ended the year.  

Shifting from State Standards to CCSS for Fractions
The fraction unit was a big shift with the adoption of CCSS from previous Missouri GLEs.  In the past, the first anchor chart pictured below was really all of the content that we were required to teach students over fractions.  Common Core requires more in-depth understanding of how fractions fit into the number line and compare to each other.  We split the requirements over three weeks and kept our anchor charts fairly similar for each week.  We obviously wanted the basic understanding of what a fraction is to be taught first.  Then we decided to teach equivalent fractions to make comparing fractions a little easier.  We really had to dig into the CCSS language to understand for ourselves what exactly was required for third graders to know.  

Week 1 Common Core Standards Taught:
  • CCSS.Math.Content.3.G.A.2 Partition shapes into parts with equal areas. Express the area of each part as a unit fraction of the whole. For example, partition a shape into 4 parts with equal area, and describe the area of each part as 1/4 of the area of the shape.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.1 Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2 Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2a Represent a fraction 1/b on a number line diagram by defining the interval from 0 to 1 as the whole and partitioning it into b equal parts. Recognize that each part has size 1/b and that the endpoint of the part based at 0 locates the number 1/b on the number line.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.2b Represent a fraction a/b on a number line diagram by marking off a lengths 1/b from 0. Recognize that the resulting interval has size a/b and that its endpoint locates the number a/b on the number line.
Strategies Used:
Anchor Chart:

Week 2  Common Core Standards Taught:
  • CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3 Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases, and compare fractions by reasoning about their size.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3a Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size, or the same point on a number line.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3b Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3. Explain why the fractions are equivalent, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3c Express whole numbers as fractions, and recognize fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers. Examples: Express 3 in the form 3 = 3/1; recognize that 6/1 = 6; locate 4/4 and 1 at the same point of a number line diagram.
Week 2 Strategies Used:
Anchor Chart:

Week 3 Common Core State Standards Taught:

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NF.A.3d Compare two fractions with the same numerator or the same denominator by reasoning about their size. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.

Week 3 Strategies Used:
Anchor Chart: 

Reflecting on the Unit

Fractions are such an abstract concept for kids to grasp, that spending at least three weeks teaching them is crucial for their understanding.  We look forward to teaching this concept again so that we can focus more on helping diverse learners understand the concept now that we know what they are expected to learn :).  One thing that we plan to change after having taught this unit is how this really helped students with measurement.  Our students struggled when we taught them measurement before fractions.  They had a difficult time understanding where 1/4 of an inch is located on a ruler.  This year, we plan to teach fractions before measurement.

--Tabitha & Chloé


  1. You have a really good math teaching plan.

    I am running a math blog at

    Please provide me your feedback for fractions content found at
    Thank you,

    1. Thank you for reading our blog! We look forward to looking at yours!


  2. Hello, I'm back again. This time for your intake on the Common Core way on fractions. Great plan! Just to let you know when I did my evaluation The students glue the Frayer Model you email me in their Math Mission notebooks. It was great! Just a tip..... : learn zillion for all subject standards for common core. Love your whole blog. Thanks, Joanie

    1. Joanie,
      Thank you for reading our blog often! We are glad that your evaluation went well! Thank you for the website as well. We will check that out.

      Here is a website that I am using often with great worksheets for common core skills for all grade levels. These worksheets are easy to print off and use for differentiation at the Math Workshop stations.

  3. I am a new teacher and I love your blog!!!! Y'all have helped me soooo much!!!! I will incorporate these charts into my teaching. I am still learning how to make learning centers but I'll get ther! Thanks A Million!!!!!

    1. Yvonne,

      Thank you for reading our blog! We would love to hear about your experiences!