Action Fractions Lessons

Action Fractions is a cohesive sequence of activities designed to align with math standards for fraction instruction in 3rd and 4th grade as well as Computational Thinking (CT) learning goals drawn from learning trajectories for sequence, conditionals, iteration, and debugging.

About Action Fractions   Sample Lesson: Fraction Circles 1   Sample Lesson: The Frog and the Fly   More Lessons

About Action Fractions

Action Fraction lessons can be divided into three categories: unplugged, skill building and culminating project. Each year of instruction includes approximately 12 activities. Major concepts are often introduced first in an unplugged activity, followed by several skill building activities. Each year concludes with an open-ended, culminating project.

Most skill-building lessons follow a similar format. First, the context is set in the mathematics context and the Computational Thinking (CT) context. Next, students are presented with example code that illustrates the use of a CT concept for exploring a mathematics concept. Students are stepped through the example code in three steps using the TIPP&SEE learning strategy: observing how it currently works, inspecting the code and predicting what code blocks had particular effects, then making small changes to new code blocks in order to better understand the code. Then the students use those code blocks to make their own scripts according to prompts in journal pages.

Actions Fractions has an associated set of assessments that are designed to reveal students’ developing CT competencies along the different CT learning trajectories

Fraction Circles 1

Activity Summary

Students use Scratch to create representations of fractions using fraction circle pieces, by modifying a functioning example program. They decompose the fraction (a/b) that they want to represent into a sum of unit fractions (1/b), and express this as a number sentence. They learn that the denominator (b) represents the number of equal parts needed to make a whole and that the numerator (a) represents the number of parts being considered. They program the computer -- using custom blocks -- to select the size of the unit fraction, the number of unit fractions needed to represent the fraction, the fraction circle picture, and the corresponding number sentence. Students’ exploration is guided by the use of the example program and a journal page.

Fraction Circles 1 Samples

The Frog and the Fly

Activity Summary

Children attempt to move a frog to the end of a number line, starting with incorrect arguments in their code. Children make guesses and modify the code to partition the line segment into equal fractional parts and catch a fly at the end.

The Frog and the Fly Samples