When students struggle to correctly assess common denominators, mixed numbers, and improper fractions with the 4 operations, throwing negatives in the mix is devastating. If your students have trouble interpreting the various placement of negatives and subtraction signs on fractions, this lesson is for you!
Students are guided to explore the meaning of a fraction when negatives are placed in various locations and combinations, leading to recognizing equivalent fractions. They are specifically prompted to write negative fractions with the negative in the numerator as an aid to completing the 4 operations.
Then, students engage a hands on sorting activity to remind them of all the things to keep track of when working with fractions. Finally, they apply all they’ve learned to practice solving various operations with negative and positive fractions.
About the 3 TIERS MATH model:
We have analyzed and targeted the known struggles for this topic by scaffolding the lesson in 3 differentiated versions: Independent, Hints, and Guided. Word banks, answer keys, sentence starters, templates, hints, problem chunking and other strategies are used to provide a means for less confident students access the same curriculum and rigor, allowing all students to engage in one common learning experience.
This lesson is designed for students to work through in pairs or groups to discover the big ideas through guided inquiry. While some direct instruction is required, the structure empower students to be independent learners, where your role transitions to more of a mentor than teacher. It is the eleventh lesson in the Neutralizing Negatives Unit for a 7th grade Common Core math class. There is a different lesson that is geared toward a 7th grade Accelerated Math class (not included).