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Classroom Idea: Understanding Equivalents


Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


This "classroom idea" is provided to illustrate examples of each performance indicator. Teachers should feel free to use it or adapt it if they so desire. Some of the ideas exemplify more than one performance indicator and/or incorporate topics in science and technology. In those instances, the appropriate performance indicators will be identified.


Mathematics Resource Guide with Core Curriculum Writing Team


Students are given a grid that is 10 x 10, instructed that the grid contains 100 squares and that the entire grid is equivalent to one with each square equivalent to 1/100 or 0.01 or 1%. Students are given a series of fractions in groups of their common denominators (e.g., 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4) and are to divide the grid into those fractions and to count to find the decimal equivalent and percent. If students start with easy fractions like halves, 4ths, 10ths, and 5ths, they are then able to use the strategies they will discover to figure out more difficult fractions like 3rds, 6ths, 8ths, etc., using the grids. An example of how the grid could be divided for 4ths is shown below with a set of equivalent fractions.


Mathematics Resource Guide with Core Curriculum Writing Team. “Classroom Ideas.” Mathematics Resource Guide with Core Curriculum, New York State Department of Education, 79.

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