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Lesson Plans Created by TeachNet Adaptor Grants
Marvelous Math - Colorful Fractions
Name: Lorry Zuckerbrow
School: P.S. 35
Address: 261 East 163rd Street
City: Bronx, NY, 10451
Original Project: Marvelous Math - Colorful Fractions
Author: Ann Stephenson
URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/miami/2003/stephenson.htm

How did you modify this unit for use in your own classroom?: The focus of the unit was fractions. Equivalent fractions: - the students had to reduce larger fractions to smaller fractions - the students had to create equivalent fractions transparent overlays Patten-Block Fractions: I explained and modeled to the students how two reds are equivalent to one yellow so each red block is ½ of each yellow block, etc. I gave out teacher made worksheets that increased in difficulty throughout the lesson. This was all teacher directed. At the end of the lesson the students used their pattern blocks to fill in a large hexagon and show fractional relationships between the large hexagon and the blocks they used. Then, they wrote a narrative explaining their work and how they came to the fractional parts of the whole.

List your primary instructional objectives for your students.

  1) Students will be able to understand that fractions represent part of a whole.
  2) Students will be able to understand that larger fractions can be equivalent to smaller fractions.
  3) Students will be able to identify & explain the fractional relationship of pattern blocks within a large shape.
  4) Students will be able to divide a Microsoft Excel worksheet into equivalent fractions.

What role did technology play in this curriculum unit?: 1)Student accessed an interactive website to create equivalent fractions. The website is http://illuminations.nctm.org/ActivityDetail.aspx?ID=80 2)Students created equivalent fractions transparent overlays using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

How did you assess and evaluate student performance?: 1) The end piece was the assessment of the unit. The students had to explain why the same pattern blocks took on different fractional parts as the whole changed. 2) The use of learning logs in the classroom is also an assessment piece to give them other problems dealing with pattern-blocks and fractions. 3) Also, the students are able to show an understanding of equivalent fractions throughout the year using other manipulatives or word problems.

Please tell us briefly about your background & teaching experience: Ms. Zuckerbrow's educational career started back in 1971. She majored in Art at the time. She left school to raise a family in 1972 and returned in 1990. She went to Rockland Community College, in Suffern, NY and graduated in 1995 with a Liberal Arts, Associates degree. She went on to graduate, with honors, from Dominican College, in Orangeburg, NY with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She then went on to Lehman College, in the Bronx, NY and received a Masters in Elementary Education in 2000. Over the course of 3 more years, Ms. Zuckerbriw earned another 45 credits in various topics. She joined and completed a Math Cohort called New York City Mathematics Project, TL=MS beginning in 2000 and ending in 2002.

What are your recommendations for other teachers interested in adapting this unit?: Teachers must be familiar with pattern blocks and their fractional values working with a hexagon as the whole (ONE).

Samples of Student Projects

  Teaching students how to use the Interactive website
  Students are using Microsoft Excel worksheets to create equivalent fractions.
  Final product displayed on bulletin board.


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