Flip and Ponder

Primary/Junior (Age 6 – 12)

Curriculum Goal

Primary: Number Sense

  • Determine and represent equivalent fractions involving halves, fourths, eighths; thirds and sixths; and fifths and tenths.
  • Compare simple fractions (e.g., 1/3 is less than 1/2).

Junior: Number Sense

  • Represent equivalent fractions (including improper fractions and mixed numbers) from halves to twelfths, in various contexts.
  • Compare and order fractions (including improper fractions and mixed numbers) from halves to twelfths, in various contexts.

Context

  • Two to four students
  • Students should have previous experience with creating fractions.

Materials

In-person version

  • One standard 52-card deck, with the kings and jokers removed
  • Optional – Manipulatives (students can choose to use these to help them represent and compare fractions)


Online version

Lesson

  • The student (or pair) with the least number of cards in their discard pile at the end of the game is the winner.
  • To determine who goes first, both students draw two cards from the deck, placing their first drawn card as the numerator and their second drawn card as the denominator. The student with the largest fraction goes first (indicated here as Student 1).
  • Student 1 draws two additional cards from the deck and creates the largest fraction possible by selecting a card for the numerator and denominator.
  • Student 2 discards their initial two cards and draws four cards.
  • Student 2 chooses two cards to create a larger fraction than Student 1, if possible.
  • If played in teams, students confer with their teammate about which fraction is the largest that can be made.
  • The student with the larger fraction places their winning fraction into their discard pile and draws two more cards for the following round.
  • The student with the smaller fraction places all four of their cards in their separate discard pile
    and draws four more for the following round.
  • Students repeat the process by creating the largest fraction possible from their four cards. The winner of each round discards two cards; the student with the lower fraction discards four cards.
  • If there is a tie, students take the two cards they each used to make their fractions and put
    them into their separate discard piles. Each student selects one of the remaining two cards and places it in their discard pile. They restart the round by drawing two cards each to make the largest fraction possible, which determines who goes first.

Look Fors

  • Can children determine how to make the largest fraction from their numbers?
  • Can the children determine which fraction is larger or if the fractions are equivalent?
  • What strategies do students implement to create the largest fraction?
  • Can children use math language to explain the value of each fraction or which one is larger?

Extension

  • Create mixed fractions instead of improper fractions.
  • Vary the objective of the game to create the smallest fraction, or the fraction closest to half or closest to one.
  • Ask children to draw a representation of their fraction when creating the fraction.
  • Break a tied round by having students add (or subtract) the two fractions. The first student to
    answer correctly wins the round.

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