When you’re thinking of ways to weave hands-on practice or project based learning into your 3rd grade fractions unit, the first things that come to mind are probably pizzas, cakes, or baking of some sort.
But have you ever considered focusing on flower growth for your fraction unit? Sounds like a refreshing twist, doesn’t it?! With flowers as your focus, you can weave in a fraction art project and a variety of unique word problems that bring new life to your fractions unit.
The good news for you is all the work of creating a project based learning unit that weaves together fractions, word problems, and a beautiful art project has been done for you. This year, your students will absolutely love practicing their fraction skills as they work through the simulation Fraction Flower Festival!
Let’s take a closer look at this 3rd grade fractions project.
Throughout the simulation, students will use two important skills:
During this project based learning unit, your students will “grow” a flower using fractions as their guide. Their flower will be entered in a contest and judges will provide them with feedback on their gardening skills using a scoring rubric.
- The creativity of a caring gardener as they “grow” their flower during the fraction art project portion of the simulation.
- The accuracy of a careful gardener as they model fractions on a number line and make calculations while solving fraction word problems during the math-focused portion of the simulation.
This math project requires the application of students’ knowledge of fraction concepts. Throughout the process of the Fraction Flower Festival project, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge through creative design, engage in rigorous problem solving, and build organization skills as they plan and execute this multi-day assignment.
Math Skills Students Will Practice During This Fractions Project
The main focus of this math simulation is on 3rd grade fraction standards. Throughout the project, students will:
- Understand a fraction is a quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into equal parts.
- Represent a fraction on a number line diagram and understand a fraction as a number on the number line.
- Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions and create equivalent fraction models on a number line.
- Express whole numbers as fractions, and recognize fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers.
- Compare two fractions with the same numerator or the same denominator by reasoning about their size.
Fraction Flower Festival Project Steps
★ STEP 1: Select one of three flower types they are interested in designing. Three flower options are provided to make differentiation easy. The flower challenge levels are determined by how often students will work with equivalent fractions to find an accurate solution to each included word problem. Rest assured, all flower types address all 3rd grade fraction standards.
★ STEP 2: Use paint, colored pencils, or crayons to add color to several pieces of paper that will be cut apart later in the project to create the parts of their flower. The templates they will add color to will become the stem, leaves, petals, pistil, and stamen of their fraction flower.
★ STEP 3: Build their fraction flower by following detailed steps that require the application of fraction math skills. First, students “grow” a stem that aligns with a vertical number line, which they’ll label with fractions between 0 and 1. Then they add their leaves to specific positions along the number line using the fractions provided to them in their “Garden Journal”. Finally, students add a specific number of petals to their flower and make sure that a number of them are a specific size or color based on the fractions provided to them in their “Garden Journal”.
★ STEP 4: Solve fraction word problems that correspond to their unique flower design. During this step, students will work with all third grade fraction standards as they use detailed models to solve each word problem and write their solutions using complete sentences. Each word problem is organized in their “Garden Journal” with plenty of space for modeling and problem solving that will give you insight into their level of understanding for third grade fraction concepts.
★ STEP 5: Complete a self-assessment of their project using a three-part rubric. Each of the project deliverables described above has its own section on the rubric so students can participate in a very specific and fair assessment process as they demonstrate their learning.
Saving You Time & Making Differentiation Possible
Want to incorporate a project into your fractions unit, but crunched for instructional time?
This resource makes prepping for project based learning a breeze and makes implementation seamless. The detailed visual instructions on each page of the guide make it possible for students to complete their unique project with maximum independence so you have the time you need to teach or reteach essential fraction skills to small groups.
Scoring and providing students with feedback is also easy when using the included rubric. Each of the important pieces of the project: flower design, fraction word problem solving, and work habits have its own rubric so students can participate in the assessment process as they demonstrate learning, and you can provide them with specific feedback about their work.
Ideas for Using This Fractions Project Based Learning Guide
Every step of the Fraction Flower Festival experience is outlined in a project guide that includes clear visuals and step-by-step instructions. Rubrics and reflection prompts will encourage your students to reach their learning goals.
The format of this math project guide makes it an ideal resource for:
★ At your seat & hands-on enrichment during math workshop or guided math
★ Math center work
★ Digital learning (a Google Slides version of the entire project is included)
★ Parent volunteer or teacher’s aide enrichment station
★ A focal point for a geometry room transformation
★ An alternative assessment that allows you to measure student understanding on a deeper level as a culmination to your geometry unit.
Bring This Fractions Project to Your Classroom
Whether you’re looking to bring a little life to your fractions unit, searching for an activity that provides enrichment to your high flyers while you teach small groups, or you just want a creative way to switch up your math routine while you teach fractions, you and your students will love the Fraction Flower Festival!
Visit the Fraction Flower Festival resource page to see a full preview so you can learn more about this fun math project.
If you have any questions about this math simulation, let me know in the comments below.