Making Fractions 1Task 222 ... Years 4  10SummaryStudents first arrange a set of blocks in order and record the order on the board. The purpose of biggest to smallest ordering is to make more obvious a relationship that connects the pieces when the puzzle is solved. The puzzle is based on value relations. That is, if we give this piece a certain value, what is the value of each of the other related pieces. The assigned value is always 1, in other words, the assigned piece becomes the whole for that row of the puzzle. Other pieces will be related to the whole as fractions or mixed numbers and the first challenge is to find these relationships in each row. The challenge section of the card introduces decimal equivalents by giving the chosen piece the value of $1.Use the Task Cameo Content Finder to discover other tasks involving value relations. 
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Content

IcebergA task is the tip of a learning iceberg. There is always more to a task than is recorded on the card. 
The principle of this task is to take a whole, divide into parts, then choose any of those parts in turn to have a value of 1. In effect, the task is based on the concept that any piece, not necessarily the largest one, can be the whole. Making Fractions 1 is based on quarters, fifths, eighths and ninths of the largest square. To record the biggest to smallest order along the top line of the chart, students can use drawings, or a code such as LS for largest rectangle. The pieces are not intended to fit in these cells. However, some students do stand them on their edge outside the cells. An additional spatial challenge is provided by trying to fit the pieces back into the frame at pack up time. This should be encouraged because it is also a check that all the pieces are there. From largest to smallest the blocks are:
The direct relationships between the blocks are limited, however a full set of each shape does have the same area as the largest square and therefore as each other. We are now forced into proportional reasoning. For example:
Encourage students to look for patterns in the table. With a little prodding they may see, especially if their attention is drawn to the first row and column, that cells reflected in the leading diagonal are reciprocals of each other  that is, the product of the two cell values is 1. Examples
Challenge If fractions are used, the table becomes:
More Fraction Calculations Fractions are all about knowing what the whole is, dividing the whole into equal parts and then, as a consequence of the partitioning, being in a position to choose and use the appropriate fraction language. For example: Five of these equal parts make the whole so each part is ...worth one fifth (...called one fifth). Now, other fraction statements (stories? / equations?) are obvious from the pieces such as:
If that same whole can be divided into equal parts in another way, then a different fraction word comes into play and equivalent fractions are possible. However, in this Fraction Set the only directly connected shapes apart from A which connects to them all are B and D.
If A is the whole, B is one fourth and C is one fifth. The answer is that you can't. You have to invent another way of dividing the whole to make a new shape which is common to both the fourths and the fifths. Exploration of this type of question could be the basis of a teacher created Investigation Guide. When you write one and have trialled and modified it, please submit it to be shared with colleagues. 
Whole Class InvestigationTasks are an invitation for two students to work like a mathematician. Tasks can also be modified to become whole class investigations which model how a mathematician works. 
To convert this task to a whole class investigation each pair (or perhaps group of 4) will need a set of blocks. Multiple copies of the task, or additional panels of blocks can be purchased from Mathematics Centre, or something similar can be made from wood or card. However, these approaches might place an excess demand on finances or time. Instead, consider using a work station approach where this task and several others with similar mathematics as suggested above in the Content Finder, are one station. The other work stations might be text based work on value relations and software involving value relations, such as that for the Maths300 companion lesson of Task 75, What's It Worth?. With a system like this, where the text and software stations tend to 'look after themselves' the teacher can often find time to spend with the task group to listen to, question and assess their mathematical discussion. At this stage, Making Fractions 1 does not have a matching lesson on Maths300. 
Is it in Maths With Attitude?Maths With Attitude is a set of handson learning kits available from Years 310 which structure the use of tasks and whole class investigations into a week by week planner. 
The Making Fractions 1 task is an integral part of:
