# Addition and Subtraction of Positive Fractions and Mixed Numbers

**Strand:** Number

**Outcome:** 5

## Step 3: Plan for Instruction

### Guiding Questions

- What learning opportunities and experiences should I provide to promote learning of the outcomes and permit students to demonstrate their learning?
- What teaching strategies and resources should I use?
- How will I meet the diverse learning needs of my students?

### A. Assessing Prior Knowledge and Skills

Before introducing new material, consider ways to assess and build on students' knowledge and skills related to factors, multiples, improper fractions and mixed numbers.

Ways to Assess and Build on Prior Knowledge

Sample Structured Interview: Assessing Prior Knowledge and Skills

### B. Choosing Instructional Strategies

Consider the following strategies when planning lessons.

- Access prior knowledge on fractions outlined in the achievement indicators for grades 5 and 6.
- Focus on the meaning of a fraction—the numerator counts and the denominator shows what is counted.
- Use a problem-solving context that relates to students and applies the addition and subtraction of fractions.
- Connect problems applying the addition and subtraction of fractions to similar problems with whole numbers. Review the types of problems for addition and subtraction, such as part-part-whole, comparison and join or separate.
- Connect the subtraction of fractions to the addition of fractions.
- Estimate sums and differences of fractions before calculating by using benchmarks such as ½, 1, 1 ½ and 2.
- Encourage the use of informal methods in developing strategies for finding sums and differences of fractions.
- Have students explore sums and differences of fractions by using a variety of manipulatives, such as fraction strips and fraction blocks.
- Emphasize that students connect the concrete, pictorial and symbolic representations for sums and differences of fractions.
- Encourage students to look for similarities between different types of problems and between solution strategies to add and subtract fractions (Mack 2004).
- Have students justify the strategies they use in finding sums and differences of fractions and critique strategies used by others.

Adapted from Alberta Education, *Fractions: Learning Strategies to Enhance Understanding* (unpublished workshop handout) (Edmonton, AB: Alberta Education, 2004), pp. 8–9.

### C. Choosing Learning Activities

The following learning activities are examples of activities that could be used to develop student understanding of the concepts identified in Step 1.