The learning intention for this lesson is for my class to start to grasp the fundamental concepts of fractions. Particularly, how fractions are about equal parts, with an emphasis on them creating these equal parts for themselves. This lesson explores concepts of equal sharing and fractions, as well as an introductory discussion on reading and writing simple fractions like halves and quarters.
This lesson was good fun, and a real eye-opener for me as to how many children, struggled to fully grasp the concept of halves meaning two equal pieces, even by the end of the lesson. I think the hands on, manipulative material of playdough, is a really good tool to use to allow each and every child to explore their ability to divide and share. This was very much an introductory lesson to simple fractions, but followed on from work we have been doing in class on multiplication and division, so the concept of sharing equally has been talked about in class many times. I love the discussions that were taking place as the children had to work together in their groups, to divide their big lump of playdough fairly. As the students themselves were going to receive and keep the playdough, there was a good level of buy-in, to make sure that it was in fact shared evenly.
Reviewing the footage I took of this lesson, I can see just how valuable it will be to linger on fractions for the remainder of this term (2 more weeks). I will endeavour to provide engaging hands-on lessons, as well as catering to my more able mathematicians who will be able to use their knowledge of multiplication and division to find simple fractions of simple sets.
Things to note
This lesson was close to an hour long, from the first steps of making our playdough, to the children having their own individual playdough to cut up into equal parts. Unfortunately, my video footage became quite blurry in the middle. Some quite good conversations and learning experiences were missed in the final edited version of the video, due to the poor visual quality.