Multiplying Fractions by Wholes: Lessons and Activites

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Because Texas revamped their TEKS and Standards for Math a couple of years ago, I have been given the opportunity to teach Multiplying Fractions by Wholes to my fifth graders.  I am slowly but surely feeling more and more comfortable with this standard.
This year I have finally figured out that there are really two ways that this standard can be taught.
      * Finding a Fraction OF a Whole Number, for example: 3/4 of 8
      * Repeated addition of a fraction, for example I feed my dog 1/2 cup every day for 5 days.  This is 1/2 times 5 or 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2

Yes, you can do the standard algorithm for both types of problems, but that is not going to teach the students how to make a pictorial model to match both types of situations and the standard states they should be able to use a model.

So I decided to teach this standard in two parts.

The first part I taught is the Fraction of a Whole number.  For this I used a foldable I created to directly instruct students.  I used the "I Do", "We Do" and "You Do" guided instruction. This was my first time using this foldable in class and it went beautifully! It really helped the students understand how to circle groups and shade them in to find the fraction of a number.  The students even realized, and so did I, that we were making equivalent fractions!

Here is a direct link to my foldable I used: Multiply Fractions by Whole Numbers Interactive Guided Instruction TEKS 5.3I

The next day we used an interactive Google Slides math project.  This was something I made and shared with the students.  It still focused on the Fraction of a Whole Number.  I allowed students to work on the project in pairs.  This was an amazing and rigorous problem solving project! Not only did students work together to problem solve during the slide show, they also problem solved with technology.  They had to use shapes, scribble, type in text boxes and move items around.  This activity really drove the concept home!

I absolutely loved this Google assignment and I can't wait to do another one in the future.  Here is a direct link to my store: Multiply a Whole and a Fraction Interactive Google Classroom Activity TEKS 5.3I

The following day we worked on the other type of problems that they will see with multiplying fractions by wholes.  We discussed, drew models and converted fractions from improper fractions to mixed.  We used guided instruction and then students dove into partner work.  We used my laminated work pages and fraction cards to come up with the problems to solve.  We used dry erase markers which cuts down on copies. The students seemed okay on this, so we will do another day of work on this topic.

Here is a direct link to the guided instruction activity: Multiply Fractions by Whole Numbers TEKS 5.3I Small Group Partner Game
Next we practiced the algorithm of multiplying, finding an improper and dividing the improper to make a mixed.  We used a partner game I created in order to have fun but still practice the problems.  It is called Connect Four and the students were able to practice multiplying fractions while also having good conversations with their partners.

The kids loved Connect Four! Here is a direct link! Connect Four- Partner Game- Multiplying Fractions by Whole Numbers TEKS 5.3I

After today, I think they are ready to move onto, adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. Wish me luck!

Peace, Love, Math!

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