My favorite thing about this lesson is how simple it is. Sometimes the simplest ways are the best!
To begin, I created an equivalent fraction chart. I laminated enough copies of the chart for each of my students to have one. You can get your own copy by clicking on the image above.
I began by giving students a fraction. (ex. 1/2) Students colored this fraction in on their chart with dry erase markers. Then, I asked them how many sixths would be equivalent to one-half. Students colored in the one-sixths until they lined up with the one-half. Then students could see that three-sixths was equivalent to one-half. We continued working through several problems this way.
Eventually I asked students if they noticed a pattern. One student explained that we divided both the numerator and the denominator by the same number. I asked the students why they thought we did that. This is the really beautiful part about this fraction chart. The students were able to see that one-half was three times as big as one-sixth. Their explanations were fabulous! I am so glad I let them figure the process out for themselves.
As we continued solving problems students actually began using the chart without even coloring the fractions in. Soon we will be ready to move on to the abstract phrase!
My school is currently very into Singapore Math. Their methods focus on moving from concrete, to pictorial, to abstract. This lesson would fall under the pictorial stage. We had already used pattern blocks to explore the concrete stage of equivalent fractions.
I would also highly recommend the book Teaching Primary School Mathematics: A Resource Book. We got this book from or math curriculum director. It provides really great reasoning behind many mathematical concepts. Supposedly this is the textbook preservice teachers use in Singapore. (The price is not usually as high as it is currently listed on Amazon. The book seems to be back-ordered and independent sellers are taking advantage of this.)
The black and white copy of the equivalent fraction chart is provided for free, but if you would like color copies and copies without numbers you may purchase a pack at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
I hope you found this lesson helpful! Is anyone else's district implementing Singapore Math techniques?