Monday, June 3, 2013

Fractions--Parts of a Set

In 1st grade in Texas, students must be able to use appropriate language to describe parts of a set WITHOUT the use of fraction symbols. Well, I have a fun and SIMPLE activity to support this TEK (that can also be used in older grade levels)!

I know a lot of you like to go above and beyond your standards and teach your students things that they are to learn in subsequent grade levels. I know this mainly because I see the fabulous, cute, and creative activities that you use in your classroom. I understand why you see it as beneficial to your students and I KNOW your students are always excited to realize that they are learning something that an older grade learns! must realize that there is a logical reason why certain standards exist for your particular grade level (certain concepts and ideas must be taught before others can be learned, certain concepts and ideas may be too abstract for your grade level and would not benefit your students to teach it to them, etc.). What's my point in saying this??? When introducing fractions, it is crucial to provide many opportunities and experiences for your students to visualize the fractions. Oftentimes, teachers move from the concrete to the abstract way too quickly (in any given area of math, really). If your standards do not include using fraction symbols--don't use them. Sidebar complete.

Back to the activity!! It is simple, really. I had a bunch of paper strips left over from an art activity we so I decided to use them for a little fraction fun:

I realize that the captions are small (click to enlarge) so here are the instructions:
1. Roll the die. Dot one color.
2. Roll again. Dot another color.
3. Fill in the part-part-whole chart.
4. Write statements to describe the set.

That's it! This was way fun and this gave me an idea of their understanding of what we had been studying for the past few days.

For those that were struggling, I drew special attention to the part-part-whole chart that I required them to draw on their board (which is AMAZING to use for fractions, by the way!!). 

After the students completed a few strips, they were instructed to get in partners and describe their set to each other.

After this activity, we made caterpillars:

They were instructed to pick one of each paper (one for the background and one for the statements),  a cup of 7 pompoms (colors of their choosing), and 1 wiggly eye.

 I love how this student took on a challenge and picked 5 different colors!

To connect our learning to what we had been studying in science, the students drew their caterpillar in its habitat. Most just added leaves and trees while others drew the rest of its life cycle! I was way impressed!.......and I just realized that I didn't get pictures of the finished products. :/

Hope you enjoyed this! Happy summer (or almost summer) to you!!!


  1. I love this...especially the part-part-whole chart Janaye :)

    1. Thanks, Kristen!! Love it when you grace me with your presence! ;)

  2. I wish all my grade 8s and 9s had spent time grasping parts of a whole before getting force-fed the mystical fraction-line and its magical properties...Agree x1000 with your sidebar!

    1. Ugh, being a former 4th grade teacher, I know that all too well! ;)

  3. I LOVE THIS ACTIVITY and plan on doing it at home with my young'n TONIGHT! ALSO, totally agree with the sidebar....I wish my 5th graders had had the exposure before we met....THANKS ever so....


    1. Thank you for your feedback and for coming by!