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FRAMEWORK FOR PLANNING A PROBLEM SOLVING LESSON IN

MATHEMATICS
Name: Karen Sanchez & Paulette Martinez
Lesson Title: Finding the common denominator
Grade Level: 5th
Important Mathematical Ideas:
What are the main ideas you want students to be thinking about as they work on
this lesson?
Before we can add fractions, the fractions need to have a common
denominator (in other words the denominators must be the same).
Instructional Objectives:
Use student friendly language
Students will be able to add fractions with unlike denominators by solving a real
word problem.
Common Core Standards Addressed:
Here is a link to the Common Core Standards:
http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Math%20Standards.pdf
Common Core Math CONTENT Standards Addressed:
5.NF.1 Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed
numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way
as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like
denominators.
Common Core Math PRACTICE Standards Addressed:
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in
solving them.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

The TASK: Considering Tasks


Think about how well the problem or task will engage students in the important
mathematical ideas you want to address in the lesson. In particular, for each
task, think about numbers, context, and problem structures, and say why you
are choosing the numbers, contexts, and problem structures you decide upon.
TASK(S):
What is the MAIN thing you will have students work on:
Your school is having a bake sale to raise funds for an upcoming fieldtrip. The
5th grade students are going to make two types of brownies to sell at the bake

sale. One batch of Fudge Nut Brownies and one batch of Caramel Brownies.
The students still need to purchase some of the ingredients so they need to
know how much of each of those ingredients are needed. Solve using the
recipes below and turn any improper fractions into mixed numbers.
Fudge Nut Brownies
cups butter
cups of sugar
cups of vanilla
1/9 cups of baking soda
cups of flour
cups of cocoa
3 eggs
cups of walnuts
(makes 2 dozen)
Caramel Brownies
cups of butter
cups of sugar
1/7 cups of vanilla
1/6 cups of baking soda
cups of flour
2/3 cups of cocoa
2 eggs
cups of caramel
(makes 2 dozen)
1.
2.
3.
4.

How many cups of butter do the students need to make both recipes?
How many cups of sugar do the students need to make both recipes?
How many cups of flour do the students need to make both recipes?
Challenge Question: If you're making 4 dozen of the Fudge Nut
Brownies and 4 dozen of the Caramel Brownies. How much flour and
cocoa are needed for both recipes? (hint: remember that each recipe
makes 2 dozen)

WHY:
Why these numbers: We used fractions that had different denominators but
were still relevant to a real baking recipe.
Why this problem context (context = setting or objects in problem):
We chose this word problem because our fifth grade class can relate to it since
they are fifth graders and they have prior experience with fundraisers and field
trips.
Why this problem structure (what mathematical information is given and what is

unknown):
We provide the two different brownie recipes but students are required to find
the total use of each ingredient, this will help them practice finding the common
denominator and they will know how much to use for the total of the two
recipes.

ANTICIPATED STUDENT RESPONSES: Thinking about the Students


Thinking
List many different ideas for how students might respond to your task. For each
idea explain why students might think that and how you might respond to
challenge or extend their thinking.
Possible strategies:
1. Multiply to find the common denominator of two fractions
2. Draw pictures to find the common denominator of two fractions
3. Converting all fraction before adding them
Possible confusions:
1. Adding the fractions without having common denominators first
Explain why we need to have a common denominator (adding fractions
with different denominators is like adding apples to oranges/ have the
same units)
Remind throughout the lesson, that when adding fractions the
denominators need to be the same
2. Finding the wrong common denominators
Model how to find the multiples of each denominator to find the common
denominator (finding the least common multiple)
3. Miscounting, non-accurate math
Have student revise their math

Vocabulary and Language Objectives


State:
The key mathematical vocabulary used in the lesson, including vocabulary
in students native language, if appropriate.
If an ELD classroom, state the language objective for the lesson.
Mathematical words:

Numerator (Numerador): the part of the whole (number on top of the fraction)
Denominator (Denominador): the total number of pieces; whole (number on
the bottom of the denominator)

Equivalent (Equivalente): fractions that are equal in value


Common denominator (Denomainador comun): a shared multiple
Addition (Sumar): the total of two or more numbers
Other words:
Recipe (Receta): a set of instructions for preparing a dish
Ingredients (Ingredientes): any of the substances that are combine in a
recipe
Brownies (Pastelillo de chocolate): a chocolate dessert
Field trip (Excursion): a trip made by students to study something at first
hand
Sentence structure: Amount cups is needed for ingredient.
I.e. 4 cups are needed for flour.
Materials & Tools
Consider:
How do the tools I use in the lesson act as learning supports?
Do the tools make the topic easier for the students to understand?
Do I offer a variety of tools for students to use?
Description of the Mathematics Tools you will have available for students:

Manipulatives (fraction strips)


Numberline
White board
Markers
Pencil
Worksheet

Public Criteria
Consider and State:
What key rules and expectations do you need to make clear to students
before you start the lesson? For example, rules for using materials, for
working in groups, etc.

Manipulatives are only used for math purposes


Each student is accountable for completion their own work
Show work on worksheet
Each student is responsible for putting away any tools used

3 PART LESSON PLAN


1) BEFORE: Introduction
Consider and State how you will:
Transition students into the lesson (Before Before).
Introduce the task. You might introduce the problem through a story
book, a picture, a question, simply by discussing the context and getting
students to talk about it, or something else.
Get the students ready. Here you need to find out what students
already know about the topic / task, and help get them ready to work on
the task. You might begin with an easier version of the same task. You
might have them brainstorm ways of solving the task. Or something else.
Pose the task. Make sure all students understand what the task is
asking.
Include SPECIFIC QUESTIONS that you will ask students during this part
of the lesson.
YOUR PLAN for what teacher and students will do and WHY:
Before before:
Gather students attention and ask to put everything away but a
whiteboard and dry erase marker
Introduction:
We are going to have a short lesson with you guys about how to find a
common denominator. Start lesson by asking,Who can tell me what a
denominator is?, What do fractions need to have in order add them?
Go over how to find a common denominator with arithmetic (listing the
multiples for each denominator and then finding the one that they share
in common; Least common multiple)
Objective: Students will be able to add fractions with unlike denominators by
solving a real word problem.
Warm up task:
Go over a similar problem by modeling:
o So I want to make lemonade for my friends and I. I found two
recipes and I want to find how many cups of lemon juice and
sugar I need to make it

o
o
o
o
o

RECIPE 1: cups of lemon juice, cups of sugar, water


RECIPE 2: 5/6 cups of lemon juice, cups of sugar, water
1. How many cups of lemon juice are needed for both recipes?
2. How many cups of sugar are needed for both recipes?
I will model how to solve the first question and go over the
second question as a class.

Main task:
Your school is having a bake sale to raise funds for an upcoming
fieldtrip. The 5th grade students are going to make two types of brownies
to sell at the bake sale. One batch of Fudge Nut Brownies and one
batch of Caramel Brownies. The students still need to purchase some of
the ingredients so they need to know how much of each of those
ingredients are needed. Solve using the recipes below and turn any
improper fractions into mixed numbers
1. How many cups of butter do the students need to make both recipes?
2. How many cups of sugar do the students need to make both recipes?
3. How many cups of flour do the students need to make both recipes?
Challenge Question: If you're making 4 dozen of the Fudge Nut
Brownies and 4 dozen of the Caramel Brownies. How much flour and
cocoa are needed for both recipes? (hint: remember that each recipe
makes 2 dozen)

2) DURING: Exploring
Consider and State how you will:
Find out about students thinking. What will you be listening and
looking for, what strategies do you expect to see?
Support students thinking when needed hints, suggestions,
questions to get students moving on the task, or to help students who are
struggling.
Encourage students to test out their own ideas.
Support diverse groups of learners.
Pose questions that help students extend their thinking by looking for
patterns, considering multiple solutions, explaining their reasoning and
thinking, etc.
Include SPECIFIC QUESTIONS that you will ask students during this part
of the lesson.
YOUR PLAN for what teacher and students will do and WHY:

Assess students work, looking for samples that should be shared after
Ask students to describe their strategy and why
Strategies and ideas to look for include
drawing pictures of fractions as equivalent fractions
multiplying denominator to find a common denominator
listing multiples to find a common multiple
using manipulatives (fractions strips) to compare equivalent fractions
Questions to ask students
What do you notice about these two recipes that are interesting? (do
both of them use the same ingredients? do the measurements on both
recipes the same?)
How can models be used to compute fractions with like and unlike
denominators?
How are models used to show how fractional parts are combined or
separated?
Why do we need common denominators to add fractions?
After 30 minutes, when most of the groups are done converting and adding all
fractions in the recipe students will be asked to put manipulatives away and be
ready to share.

3) AFTER: Summarizing
Consider how you will:
Facilitate a class discussion and a sharing of students strategies.
Think about how and where students will share, how many will share, and
how you will choose those students.
Encourage dialogue and debate among students. Think about how the
class will determine whether a solution is correct or incorrect. Think about
how to extend the childrens thinking.
Summarize the important mathematical ideas. Consider how you will
draw students attention to the big mathematical concepts. Make sure you
define here what those important mathematical ideas are.
Include SPECIFIC QUESTIONS that you will ask students during this part
of the lesson.
Transition students from the lesson to the next activity (After After).
YOUR PLAN for what teacher and students will do and WHY:
This after assumes that students found common denominators for all
ingredients and were able to add each ingredient to figure out how much is
needed for both recipes.

First all students need to agree on what amount of each ingredient is needed
(same common denominator per ingredient)
Lets see if we can write down each fraction for each ingredient
Ask students if they agree with these fractions
If students disagree, ask students to explain why they think its not
correct
Add up each ingredient to see how much is needed
Extend mathematics
How can finding common denominators help you with future ingredients.
Thank them for letting us do this math lesson with them
Turn the class back over to the teacher

ASSESSMENT
How will you assess what students learned?

Have students share answers with the class and write them on the
board to check if everyone agrees on the final answer.
Collect recipe worksheets with students work
Monitoring class to make sure students are working
Have students explain their reasoning on how they solved the problem

VARIATIONS
Describe how you could adapt the task (i.e., task structure, context, and/or
numbers) for students who struggle with the mathematics (extensions down) and
for students who are ready for an additional challenge (extensions up).
Extensions down (struggling students)
Provide extra teacher support
Giving them a times table chart
Provide several options of manipulatives
Extensions up (additional challenge)
Give them higher numbers
Provide extra question: How much of each ingredient to we need to
make 8 dozen brownies?
Have them solve the problem using two methods
Select TWO students (e.g., English Language Learners, inclusion students,
students who are over or under participators) and describe how you will adapt
the lesson, as appropriate, to meet their needs.

ELL Students (Rafael)


provide a list of vocabulary words with translations
have him work with a partner that is fluent in both, English and Spanish
so that he can clarify questions and work with Rafael
provide both recipes in their native language
Sped Students (Daisy)
provide different manipulatives for Daisy such as fraction strips,
multiplication chart, which will help her find the multiples
have a the steps on how to find a common denominator