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Spring Arbor University School of Education

Lesson Plan Template Guide:

Name: Jasmine Harper

Title: Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Subject: Math

Grade Level: 5th Time Allotted: 30 minutes

Materials Required:

Technology and speaker to play “Add/Subtract Fractions Song” or an instrument to play it live, and a
whiteboard or chalkboard with a writing utensil. Students will need their own pencils and pieces of
paper. For every group of four students, I will provide one “Fractions—Easy as Cake!” worksheet
(Handout 2). Every student will have their own copy of Handout 1 and Handout 3.

Michigan Curriculum framework: 5.NF. A.1. Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators
(including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to
produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators.

Students will need to understand the process and steps of adding fractions with like denominators
before they add fractions with unlike denominators.

Objective(s): A portion of a GLCE or HSCE stated in terms of Bloom’s taxonomy (level/verb) –

The student will calculate the sum of fractions with unlike denominators by using the “least common
denominator method” (first level of proficiency—Webb’s Depth of Knowledge)

The student will compare the values of mixed numbers and fractions by putting them in like terms
(second level of proficiency—Costa’s Levels of Thinking).

The student will apply his or her knowledge of adding and subtracting fractions to read world problems,
such as mixing the ingredients in a cake (third level of proficiency—Bloom’s Taxonomy).

Biblical Value(s):

We are just a fraction of who we are without God. He makes us whole. Understanding fractions helps us
understand how to manage our time and budget our money for him. Through understanding money,
Christ-followers can effectively tithe through giving back to the church, as well as sharing money with
other people.

Instructional Procedure: What information do students need to accomplish the objective?

Please clear your desks of everything but a pencil and the worksheet I have provided you, Handout 1.
1. State Purpose and Objective of Lesson:
a. The purpose of this lesson is to help you all understand how to combine fractions even if
they have different denominators. You should understand it is possible to add fractions
even if they do not look the same.
b. Adding and subtracting fractions is important because fractions are a building block for
many other facets of math, such as algebra. Fractions can help you understand how
numbers interact with each other.

2. Anticipatory Set:
a. Today, we are going to sing a song about adding and subtracting fractions
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjmHXxqzSVA)! Show me your best dance moves!
b. Previously, we learned how to add and subtract fractions when the bottom, or the
denominator is the same for both fractions. For example, we know that 3/6 + 2/6 = 5/6.
c. For this lesson, you will be doing the same type of math—adding and subtracting—but
you will learn how to find a common factor between the two denominators to make the
denominator the same. You cannot add or subtract fractions if the bottom (the
denominator is different). You will also learn how to changed mixed numbers—fractions
greater than one—into improper fractions. In improper fractions, the numerator (top
number) is greater than the denominator (bottom number). So, the only way you can
add a mixed number to another fraction is by changing it to an improper fraction with
the same denominator.
d. As we are learning this, please respect your own learning and the learning of your
classmates by being an active listener. You will have time to talk with your friends after
this lesson. For now, please give me your undivided attention.

3. Differentiation Considerations:
a. Accommodations for access to general education curriculum. I will email your parents
the videos and worksheets we use today so you will all have access to this information
at home.
b. Anyone who finishes the in-class assignment quickly can begin the homework due the
next day in class, Handout 3. Yet, your answers must still be correct!

4. Instructional Input
Example: Direct Instruction example

a. Modeling

i. Let’s try an example of adding fractions with different denominators. As I write


out this problem on the white board, follow along on your worksheet titled,
Handout 1. I’ll tell you what I'm thinking as I work. Our first problem is 3/5 - 1/3.
Write these numbers in the blank spots on the worksheet. Remember, the only
way we can add or subtract fractions is if the bottoms look the same. To do this,
we need to find the least common denominator (LCD). The least common
denominator is the smallest factor that is the same between the two
denominators. Let’s write down the first five factors of 5. 5 multiplied by 1 is 5,
5 multiplied by 2 is 10, 5 multiplied by 3 is 15, 5 multiplied by 4 is 20, and 5
multiplied by 5 is 25. Next, list the first five factors of 3. 3 multiplied by 1 is 3. 3
multiplied by 2 is 6. What is 3 multiplied by 3? It is 9. What is 3 multiplied by 4?
12. Finally, what is 3 multiplied by 5? It is 15. Now, please check with your elbow
partner to make sure you all have the same factors written down on your
papers (formative assessment). The factor that is the same of both numbers is
15. Because 5 goes into 15 3 times, we need to multiply both the numerator and
the denominator of 3/5 by 3. You can see this with the little, blue arrow on the
right side of your papers. The equivalent of this fraction is 9/15. The next step
shown on your worksheets is to change 1/3 to its equivalent so that it has a
denominator of 15. 3 goes into 15 5 times, so we need to multiply the
numerator and the denominator by 5. This is shown again on your worksheets
in blue. When we do this, we see that the equivalent to 1/3 is 5/15. Now that
both of these fractions have the same denominator, we can subtract them. 9/15
– 5/15 = 4/15. I am going to walk around the room and make sure you all filled
in the worksheet correctly (formative assessment).
ii. Now, we will try a problem that is a little harder. Let’s figure out the sum of 3
2/3 + 5/4. For this problem, I will show you how to do the first portion on the
white board. The second part of this problem is an example of what is on your
worksheet. So, you will work with your elbow partner to solve the last steps.
Follow along on a separate piece of paper as I describe what I am doing. First,
we need to make this mixed number an improper fraction. With a mixed
number, the fraction is larger than one. For example, 4/4 is equal to 1. But, the
total of 5/4 is larger than one. For every improper fraction, the numerator (the
number on top) is bigger than the denominator (the number on the bottom).
So, we need to make the mixed number of 3 2/3 an improper fraction. We will
multiply the denominator by the whole number (the biggest number). What is 3
multiplied by 3? Students will respond. It is 9! Then, we will add 9 to the top
number. What is 9 + 2? Students will respond. It is 11! So, 3 2/3 becomes 11/3.
Can we add 11/3 and 5/4 like they are? No, we can’t. What do we need to do to
get the final answer? We need to get the bottoms to look alike.

b. Guided Practice

i. Please work with your elbow partner and look at your notes from Handout 1 to
complete the rest of this problem: 3 2/3 + 5/4. You can show your work on the
back of this handout, or you can attach a separate sheet of paper. (As an
example of formative assessment and guided practice, I will walk around the
room to observe students’ work as they collaborate. Then, I will go over the right
answer on the board). We get the bottoms of 11/3 and 5/4 to look alike by
finding the LCD—the least common denominator. Just like we went through all
of the factors of 3 and 5 in the last problem, we will look at the factors of the
denominators in this problem. We want to find the multiple or factor that is the
smallest because that will save time in the end. Let’s find the least common
denominator of 3 and 4. We already found the factors of 3 in the last problem,
so let’s find the factors of 4. What is 4 multiplied by 1? Students will respond.
Yes, it is 4. What is 4 multiplied by 2? Students will respond. Good job! It is 8.
What is 4 multiplied by 3? Students will respond. Yes, it is 12. What is 4
multiplied by 4? Students will respond. Yes, it is 16. Looking at the first 4 factors
of 4, and the first 4 factors of 3 (3, 6, 9, and 12), do you see a number that is the
same on both lists? Students will respond. You’re right! 12 is on both lists. This is
what we will choose as the denominator. Let’s make the fraction of 11/3 have a
denominator of 12. We know that 3 multiplied by 4 equals 12. Whatever you do
to the bottom of the fraction, you have to do the same thing to the top of the
fraction, too. What is 11 multiplied by 4? Students will respond. It is 44. So, 11/3
equals the same thing as 44/12. Now, let’s change 5/4 to have a denominator of
12. We know that 4 multiplied by 3 equals 12. If we multiply 3 to the
denominator of 5/4, we need to multiply it to the numerator, as well. What is 5
multiplied by 3? Students will respond. 15! So, 5/4 becomes 15/12. Will it work if
we add 44/12 and 15/12 together? Yes, because they have the same
denominator. Remember, when you add fractions together, you only add what
is on top. The denominator stays the same. What is 44+15 is 59. This gives us
59/12. Now, this isn’t our final answer because it is not in its simplest form.
Since this is an improper fraction (59 is bigger than 12), we will have to reduce it
by changing it to a mixed fraction. We need to figure out how many times 12
can go into 59. Let’s list the first five factors of 12: 12x1 = 12, 12x2 = 24, 12x3 =
36, 12x4 = 48, and 12 x 5 = 60. 59 is one less than 60. This means that 12 goes
into 59 4 times. So, 4 will be the whole number in the mixed fraction. To find the
remainder, the fraction left over from the whole number, we must figure out 59
– 48. The answer to this is 11, which is the numerator in the fraction. So, our
final answer is 4 11/12.
c. Independent Practice: (How will students demonstrate learning?) When the students
can perform without major errors, discomfort or confusion, then they are ready to
develop fluency by practicing without the availability of the teacher (within centers, ex.)

i. Now, here comes the fun part! Please pull out Handout 2. You will all show
what you have learned by adding and subtracting fractions that relate to
measuring ingredients in a cake. I will split you up into groups of four, and you
will be given a sheet with different fraction problems. You can look at Handout
1 and my writing on the whiteboard to help you.
ii. Homework—Please take home Handout 3. Circle the numerators in each
problem, and put a square around the denominators. When you come to class
tomorrow morning, you will have some of these problems as your “bell ringer.”
You are not required to solve all of the problems for homework, but please
familiarize yourself with the important vocabulary of this lesson.
iii. I will know you are on the right track of adding and subtracting fractions when
you are able to identify each numerator and denominator.
iv. You will be held accountable for what you accomplish at home.
v. I will email your parents the information on your homework assignment, and I
will keep them updated with your progress in this math unit.

d. Closure (Summative Assessment): Now, we will go over all the correct answers in your
worksheet (Handout 2). Please pass your worksheet to another group. You will be
2 16 10 1 1 3 3
grading your classmates’ work. 3 - is 1. - equals . Next, + is equal to 1. The
3 6 12 2 3 4 12
1 5 1 2 1 1 9
answer to -13 15
is 3.
Next, + is ½. Lastly, + is equal to 2. Please give the
8 4
14 16
worksheets back to the people who worked on them. Then, pass all your worksheets up
to me.
i. Just to review, here are the three objectives of this lesson:
1. The student will calculate the sum of fractions with unlike denominators
by using the “least common denominator method” (first level of
proficiency—Webb’s Depth of Knowledge)
2. The student will compare the values of mixed numbers and fractions by
putting them in like terms (second level of proficiency—Costa’s Levels of
Thinking).
3. The student will apply his or her knowledge of adding and subtracting
fractions to real-world problems, such as mixing the ingredients in a
cake (third level of proficiency—Bloom’s Taxonomy).

5. Assessment: Explain how this will take place at each step of the lesson instruction. While I am
modeling the content information to the students, I give two opportunities for formative
assessment—the students compare their work on Handout 1 with their elbow partner. During
the students’ time of guided practice, I walk around the room to view their work as an example
of formative assessment. Students practice summative assessment by completing Handout 2
without help from me. I can assess that they have learned the objectives by looking at the
answers to their problems on Handout 2. In addition, I can verify each individual student
understands the concept of adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators by
assigning the homework (Handout 3). If students have not met the objectives, I will spend time
with those students going over the information and content the day after I teach the lesson. This
will happen while the students who have met the objectives practice silent reading. I will email
each student’s parents to keep them updated with their child’s progress.
Handout 1

Adding and Subtracting Simple Fractions:

We can use equivalent fractions to add and subtract fractions


that do not have the same denominator.

We need to change x3
3
into an equivalent

- =
5
fraction with a
denominator of 15.

x3

x5
We need to change

- 1
3
into an equivalent =
fraction with a
denominator of 15.
x5

Now we have:

- =
Denominator – The bottom number of a fraction.
Numerator – The top number of a fraction.
Equivalent – The same as.
Improper Fraction - When the numerator is bigger than the
denominator.
Mixed Number – A number with an integer (a whole number) and a
fraction. The number is always greater than one.
Name: ___________ Handout 2

Fractions: Easy as Cake!


2 16
3 - = _________ cup(s) of flour
3 6

10 1
- = ___________ cup(s) of cocoa
12 2

3 3
+ = ___________ cup(s) of sugar
4 12

1 5
1 - = ___________ cup(s) of butter
3 15

2 1
+ = ____________ cup(s) of milk
8 4

1 9
1 + = ___________ eggs
4 16
Name: ___________ Handout 3