# ALEX Learning Activity

## Decomposing Fractions Part II: Cuisenaire Rods

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

You may save this Learning Activity to your hard drive as an .html file by selecting “File”,then “Save As” from your browser’s pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.
This learning activity provided by:
 Author: Stephanie Carver System: Cullman City School: Cullman City Board Of Education
General Activity Information
 Activity ID: 2514 Title: Decomposing Fractions Part II: Cuisenaire Rods Digital Tool/Resource: NRICH Cuisenaire Environment Web Address – URL: http://nrich.maths.org/4348 Overview: In this learning activity, students will use Cuisenaire rods to decompose fractions. Students will explore fractional decompositions using these concrete materials. Students will show how a whole can be broken into parts and use an equation to represent the decomposed fraction. This activity results from the ALEX Resource Development Summit.
Associated Standards and Objectives
Content Standard(s):
 Mathematics MA2019 (2019) Grade: 4 15. Model and justify decompositions of fractions and explain addition and subtraction of fractions as joining or separating parts referring to the same whole. a. Decompose a fraction as a sum of unit fractions and as a sum of fractions with the same denominator in more than one way using area models, length models, and equations. b. Add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers with like denominators using fraction equivalence, properties of operations, and the relationship between addition and subtraction. c. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions and mixed numbers having like denominators, using drawings, visual fraction models, and equations to represent the problem. Unpacked Content Evidence Of Student Attainment:Students: When given any fraction or mixed number, apply unit fraction understanding to decompose the given fraction or mixed number into the sum of smaller fractions, including unit fractions. When given a problem solving situation involving addition and subtraction of fractions or mixed numbers with like denominators, explain and justify solutions using unit fractions, visual models, and equations involving a single unknown.Teacher Vocabulary:Decomposition Unit fraction Area model Length model Equation Mixed number Visual fraction model Whole Sum Difference RecompositionKnowledge:Students know: Situation contexts for addition and subtraction problems. A variety of strategies and models to represent addition and subtraction situations. The fraction a/b is equivalent to the unit fraction 1/b being iterated or "copied" the number of times indicated by the numerator, a. A fraction can represent a whole number or fraction greater than 1 and can be illustrated by decomposing the fraction. Example: 6/3 = 3/3 + 3/3 = 2 and 5/3 = 3/3 + 2/3 = 1 2/3.Skills:Students are able to: Decompose fractions as a sum of unit fractions. Model decomposition of fractions as a sum of unit fractions. Add and subtract fractions with like denominators using properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction using visual models, drawings, and equations to represent the problem.Understanding:Students understand that: A unit fraction (1/b) names the size of the unit with respect to the whole and that the denominator tells the number of parts the whole is partitioned, and the numerator indicates the number of parts referenced. A variety of models and strategies can be used to represent and solve word situations involving addition and subtraction. The operations of addition and subtraction are performed with quantities expressed in like units, and the sum or difference retains the same unit.Diverse Learning Needs: Essential Skills:Learning Objectives: M.4.15.1: Recognize that a whole can be partitioned into differing equal parts (halves, fourths, eighths, etc.). M.4.15.2: Identify numerator and denominator. M.4.15.3: Recall basic addition and subtraction facts. M.4.15.4: Demonstrate an understanding of fractional parts. M.4.15.5: Recall basic addition and subtraction facts. M.4.15.6: Define mixed numbers. M.4.15.7: Recall basic addition and subtraction facts. M.4.15.8: Demonstrate an understanding of fractional parts. M.4.15.9: Solve basic word problems using whole numbers. M.4.15.10: Express parts of a whole as a fraction. M.4.15.11: Write number sentences for word problems. M.4.15.12: Identify key terms in word problems. M.4.15.13: Recall basic addition and subtraction facts. Prior Knowledge Skills:Define fraction, numerator, and denominator. Identify the parts of a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts and size 1/b. Label numerator, denominator, and fraction bar. Identify parts of a whole with two, three, or four equal parts. Distinguish between equal and non-qual parts. Partition circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares; describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters; and use the phrases half of, fourth of, and quarter of. Recognize fractions as lengths from zero to one. Represent whole numbers as lengths from 0 on a number line diagram with equally spaced points corresponding to the numbers 0, 1, 2…, and represent whole-number sums and differences within 100 on a number diagram. Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards AAS Standard: M.AAS.4.15 Model decomposing fractions having like denominators, using visual fraction models (limit to half and fourths).
Learning Objectives:

Students will decompose a fraction as a sum of fractions with the same denominator in more than one way using equations.

Strategies, Preparations and Variations
 Phase: During/Explore/Explain Activity: Students will need to be given a set of Cuisenaire rods or access to the digital resource for Cuisenaire rods. As a whole group, model how to use the Cuisenaire rods using the following questions: Using the dark blue rod as 1 whole, how many light green rods represent this whole? What fractional part does each light green rod represent? What equation could we write to show this relationship? What fractional part does the white rod represent? What about the dark green? Could I make 1 whole blue rod using the yellow rods?After students have had plenty of time to explore using the Cuisenaire rods, allow them to complete the Decomposing Fractions: Cuisenaire Rods activity sheet. This can be completed in partners or individually. Discuss the students' findings using this activity sheet. Assessment Strategies: Student recordings on the Decomposing Fractions: Cuisenaire Rods activity sheet will be used as a formative assessment to students' understanding of how to decompose a fraction using an equation as a representation. The teacher should continuously monitor students to check for understanding of fractional decompositions using the Cuisenaire rods. Advanced Preparation: Students do not have to be familiar with Cuisenaire rods to complete this activity. If using the digital resource for the Cuisenaire rods, there is a video on the website that students can watch prior to completing the activity. Variation Tips (optional): Notes or Recommendations (optional): 15. Model and justify decompositions of fractions and explain the addition and subtraction of fractions as joining or separating parts referring to the same whole. a. Decompose a fraction as a sum of unit fractions and as a sum of fractions with the same denominator in more than one way using area models, length models, and equations. b. Add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers with like denominators using fraction equivalence, properties of operations, and the relationship between addition and subtraction. c. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions and mixed numbers having like denominators, using drawings, visual fraction models, and equations to represent the problem. This activity can stand alone or be used with the following learning activities: Decomposing Fractions Part I: EngageDecomposing Fractions Part III
Keywords and Search Tags
 Keywords and Search Tags: cuisenaire rod, decompose, fraction