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Understanding Number Sense for Fraction Success

Author: Elizabeth Gourlis


William C. Longstreth Elementary School

Year: 2010

Seminar: The Art and Craft of Problem Solving

Grade Level: 6

Keywords: fractions, Math in Context, Ratio

School Subject(s): Math

This unit will be designed to reinforce the standards based curriculum, Math in Context, with a hands-on approach to attain the main focus of a deeper knowledge of number sense.  Students will use “draw a picture”, “notice patterns” and “make a list” as art-like strategies as well as have flexible grouping to create images and reference points to better grasp fraction/ratio relationships.  Students that are below grade level in reading more often than not are below grade level for mathematics. These students have compensated for their low reading by excelling with auditory instructions and giving verbal feedback.  These students may not be able to articulate with written words their understanding and method for getting the answer.  Draw a picture, make a list and recognizing patterns are designed to allow these students to participate in discussions and make connections using problem-solving skills without relying on words.  This unit will craft an increase in numbers sense by using images and graphics.

The intended audience for this lesson is low-income high poverty sixth grade students that are below grade level in literacy and mathematics in a self-contained classroom in a low performing school.  Students will be able to reach a level of procedural understanding as well as a functional proficiency within the realm of ratios and fractions by the end of the sixth grade.

Download Unit: Gourlis_unit.pdf

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