Lesson plan

Fractions and Dollars

Tie into what they already know! Use money to teach fractions in this engaging lesson.
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Students will understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts by using what they already know about the value of coins compared to the value of a dollar.

(5 minutes)
  • Review with students by asking for volunteers to share what they remember about coins.
  • Tell the students that today they will be dividing dollars into fractions using the coins they have just discussed.
  • Remind students that a quarter is worth 25 cents, a half-dollar is worth 50 cents, and that the value of two quarters is equivalent, or equal to, one half-dollar.
(5 minutes)
  • Divide students into groups.
  • Hand out the Fraction Dollar worksheet to students.
  • Explain that the nickel, dime, and quarter are represented below the dollar in the worksheet.
  • Have students count together for each denomination (sequence count by 5, 10, and 25).
  • Tell the students that the class will complete a larger example of these fractions using the sentence strips.
  • Remind your students that the numerator is the top number in a fraction, and the denominator is the bottom number.
(10 minutes)
  • Start with the quarter, and ask guided questions for students to work on as a whole group. Potential discussion questions include: How many quarters does it take to make a dollar? How many pieces would a dollar be divided into? What value would each unit have? If a unit is a fourth, how much would one quarter be?
  • Have a volunteer cut out four quarters and paste them evenly on the sentence strip. Then, have that volunteer draw lines to show the ¼ pieces on the sentence strip.
  • Repeat the same procedure for the dime (1/10th pieces) and the nickel (1/20th pieces).
  • Explain to the students that each coin row on their worksheet is the same as one of these sentence strips. Explain that it takes four quarters to make a dollar, so a quarter is 1/4th of a dollar. Do the same with the nickel and dime.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the needed materials for the Dollar Game to each group.
  • Read the instructions to students, and have them play this game for two to three rounds.
  • Enrichment: Give students the Enrichment Assessment.
  • Support: Give students the Support Assessment.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students complete the appropriate leveled Assessment Challenge.
(5 minutes)
  • Begin a discussion about the similarities your students found with the sentence strips and what they drew.
  • Encourage students to reflect on any changes they might want to make to their Assessment Challenges.

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