Susan C. Anthony

Fractions 1: Introduction and Diagnostic Test


Note:  Words in green are words the teacher actually says.

Anticipatory Set:

Learning:  Today we will begin a unit on adding and subtracting fractions. Here is a chart outlining what we will learn in this unit. This chart will be on the wall throughout the unit so we can track our progress. (Go over chart.) You may not understand a lot of these words, but that's OK.

Adding and Subtracting Fractions
  1. Basic concepts of fractions.
  2. Reducing (simplifying).
  3. Adding and subtracting like fractions.
  4. Mixed numbers in adding and subtracting fractions.
  5. Improper fractions in adding and subtracting.
  6. Equivalent fractions.
  7. Adding and subtracting unlike fractions.
  8. Adding mixed numbers with regrouping.
  9. Subtracting mixed numbers with regrouping.
  10. Review and final test.

PurposeFractions are used for many, many things. They are commonly used in recipes for cooking: 1/2 cup, 1/4 tsp., etc. Carpenters use fractions in measuring and cutting boards. We can use fractions with time: half an hour, a quarter past two. Knowing how to add and subtract fractions is important in higher math courses such as algebra. Can anyone think of any other uses for fractions? Now, tell me as many of the uses for fractions as you can remember.

Transfer:  The skills you need to work with fractions are speed and accuracy with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Before we begin this unit, let's check these skills. We'll also have a short pretest to see if any of you already know how to add and subtract fractions. You won't get a grade on this test. It is just for my information, to see if any of you already know what we're going to learn in this unit. I don't expect you to know about fractions, but if you can do any of the problems, try and do your best.

Diagnostic Test

Give a speed test on at least the multiplication facts. It would be good to give a speed test on each of the basic functions sometime during the week.

Give students the pretest to see what they already know. Instruct them to check the box at the top if they know nothing about adding and subtracting fractions.


When you go home tonight, see if you can find any other applications of fractions. Ask your mom and dad when and if they ever use fractions in their work. Tell us tomorrow if you learn anything.

Check the test. You may wish to tally the number of correct and incorrect answers to develop a class profile.

Go on to read Fractions 2: Concept of Fractions
Source:, ┬ęSusan C. Anthony