Standard 1: Solve problems involving the four operations with whole numbers and fractions.

General Information
Number: MA.5.AR.1
Title: Solve problems involving the four operations with whole numbers and fractions.
Type: Standard
Subject: Mathematics (B.E.S.T.)
Grade: 5
Strand: Algebraic Reasoning

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

MA.5.AR.1.AP.1
Solve one- and two-step real-world problems involving any combination of the four operations with whole numbers. Explore problems in which remainders must be interpreted within the context.
MA.5.AR.1.AP.2a
Solve one-step real-world problems involving addition and subtraction of mixed numbers and fractions greater than one with like denominators.
MA.5.AR.1.AP.2b
Solve one-step real-world problems involving multiplication of unit fractions.
MA.5.AR.1.AP.3
Solve one-step real-world problems involving division of a whole number by a unit fraction.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Formative Assessments

Picking Strawberries:

Students are asked to solve a three-step word problem.

Type: Formative Assessment

Maris Has a Party:

Students are given a word problem involving fractions with unlike denominators and are asked to estimate the sum, explain their reasoning, and then determine the sum.

Type: Formative Assessment

Sarah’s Hike:

Students are asked to estimate the difference between two fractional lengths and then calculate the difference.

Type: Formative Assessment

Pizza Party:

Students are asked to solve a word problem by finding the product of two fractions.

Type: Formative Assessment

Just Run:

Students are given a word problem involving subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators. Students are asked to determine if a given answer is reasonable, explain their reasoning, and calculate the answer.

Type: Formative Assessment

Half of a Recipe:

Students are asked to solve a word problem by finding the product of a fraction and a mixed number.

Type: Formative Assessment

Candy at the Party:

Students are asked to solve a word problem by finding the product of two mixed numbers.

Type: Formative Assessment

Box Factory:

Students are asked to solve a word problem by finding the product of two fractions.

Type: Formative Assessment

Baking Cakes:

Students are asked to estimate the sum of two mixed numbers and then calculate the sum.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Let's Have a Fraction Party!:

In this lesson, students will use addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators to solve word problems involving situations that arise with the children who were invited to a party. They will use fraction strips as number models and connect the algorithm with these real-life word problems.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fractions make the real WORLD problems go round:

In this lesson students will use a graphic organizer to to solve addition and subtraction word problems. Students will create their own word problems in PowerPoint, by using pen and paper, or dry erase boards to help them to connect to and understand the structure of word problems.  

Type: Lesson Plan

Aaron and Anya's Discovery: Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators:

In this situational story, Aaron and Anya find several pieces of ribbon/cord of varying fractional lengths. They decide to choose 3 pieces and make a belt. All of the fractions have different denominators; students have to determine common denominators in order to add the fractional pieces. After students successfully add three fractional pieces, they make a belt and label it with their fractional pieces.

Type: Lesson Plan

Real-World Fractions:

This lesson focuses on providing students with real-world experiences where they will be required to multiply fractions. Students will be required to use visual fraction models or equations to represent the problem.  This is a practice and application lesson, not an introductory lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Blessings in a Bag!!:

In this MEA, the students will help a charitable organization select 5 snack items from a list to provide nutritious snacks for children in low-income communities.  Students will practice using the four operations to solve real-world problems and use decimal notation to make calculations involving money.  Additionally, they will be asked to compare multi-digit numbers to the thousandths.

Type: Lesson Plan

Getting the Top Mini-Fridge not a Small Deal:

In this MEA, students will create a procedure to rank five mini-refrigerators to determine which one should be purchased for the school by the PTA based on size, type, features, energy usage, and cost.  In the process, students will solve real-world problems involving the multiplication of multi-digit numbers with decimals to the hundredths, including using money.  Students will also determine the volume of a rectangular prism using a formula.

Type: Lesson Plan

Museum Dilemma:

In this MEA, students evaluate the contributions of various explorers to help a museum select the subject who provided the most impact on Western development for a new exhibit. Students will need to convert units to have the necessary information to help come up with a solution to the problem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bill of Rights Billboard:

This MEA will deepen students' knowledge of the Bill of Rights through collaborative problem solving. Students are required to analyze data in order to recommend three Amendments to celebrate during a community festival.  They will perform operations with fractions and mixed numbers to recommend advertising options for the festival within a budget.

Type: Lesson Plan

One Step at a Time: Word Problems:

In this lesson, students will use the four operations to solve multi-step word problems composed of whole numbers. Students will be asked to estimate, write equations, decide if their answers are reasonable, and explain their decision. Several problems include explaining the meaning of the remainder in a division problem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Multiplying a Fraction by a Fraction:

In this lesson, students will solve problems related to training for a marathon to apply and make sense of multiplying fractions. The student will complete a function table to help illustrate patterns in the numerator/denominator relationships. This lesson utilizes the linear model as a concrete representation and moves towards the standard algorithm (a/b) x (c/d) = ac/bd.

Type: Lesson Plan

Are You Ready for a Hurricane?:

This activity allows students to determine the types of items that should be in a hurricane survival kit, use a budget and calculations to determine the items to include in the kit and gain an understanding of hurricanes and the need to prepare for them.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Estimating Fractions Using Benchmark Fractions 0, 1/2, or 1:

In this lesson, students use models (fractions tiles or number lines) to round fractions using benchmark fractions of 0, 1/2, or 1.

Type: Lesson Plan

Diving deeper into division:

This lesson introduces students to dividing with 2 digit divisors.  Students are asked to apply strategies that they learned in dividing with 1 digit divisors such as partial quotients or breaking numbers apart using the distributive property.

Type: Lesson Plan

Garden Variety Fractions:

Students explore the multiplication of a fraction times a fraction through story problems about a garden using models on Geoboards and pictorial representations on grid paper. Students make a connection between their models and the numerical representation of the equation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Discovering Common Denominators:

Students use pattern blocks to represent fractions with unlike denominators. Students discover that they need to convert the pattern blocks to the same size in order to add them. Therefore, they find and use common denominators for the addition of fractions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Wallpaper Woes Money Math: Lessons for Life:

Students hear a story about a middle-school student who wants to redecorate his bedroom. They measure the classroom wall dimensions, draw a scale model, and incorporate measurements for windows and doors to determine the area that could be covered by wallpaper. Students then hear more about the student's redecorating adventure and learn about expenses, budget constraints, and tradeoffs.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's My Party and I'll Make Dividing by Fractions Easier if I Want to!:

During this lesson students will relate their understanding of whole number division situations to help them interpret situations involving dividing by unit fractions. They will then develop models and strategies for representing the division of a whole number by a unit fraction. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Rockin' Remainders:

This is a lesson designed to teach interpreting remainders in division based on the context of the word problem. Included with the lesson plan is a PowerPoint for direct instruction and word problems for small group or individual practice.

Type: Lesson Plan

Those Pesky Remainders:

This is a lesson to help students understand how to interpret the remainder in a division problem. Real world problems are presented in a PowerPoint so students may visualize situations and discover the four treatments of a remainder. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Chocolate Shop Challenge Part 2: Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers Using Number Lines:

Solve real-world word problems involving dividing a unit fraction by a whole number and dividing a whole number by a unit fraction using number lines in this chocolate-themed, interactive tutorial. 

This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Click HERE to open "Chocolate Shop Challenge Part 1: Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers Using Fraction Bar Models"

Click HERE to open the related tutorial, "David Divides Desserts: Divide a Unit Fraction by a Whole Number"

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Chocolate Shop Challenge Part 1: Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers Using Fraction Bar Models:

Divide unit fractions by whole numbers and divide whole numbers by unit fractions in this chocolate-themed, interactive tutorial.

This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Click HERE to open "Chocolate Shop Challenge Part 2: Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers Using Number Lines"

Type: Original Student Tutorial

David Divides Desserts: Divide a Unit Fraction by a Whole Number:

Learn to solve word problems involving division of a unit fraction by a whole number by using models, expressions, equations, and strategic thinking in this interactive, dessert-themed tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Making Art Part 2: Solving Addition and Subtraction Fraction Word Problems:

Learn to solve addition and subtraction word problems involving fractions with unlike denominators. As you complete this art-themed, interactive tutorial, you'll use visual models, write and solve equations, and check the reasonableness of results based on estimates.

This is part 2 of a two-part series. Click below to open part 1.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Making Art Part 1: Estimating Adding and Subtracting Fractions Using Benchmarks:

Read word problems and use number lines with benchmarks to solve multi-step problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators. In this tutorial, you will help Daisy and Angie paint pictures using fractions. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Samantha’s Shell-Collecting Adventure:

Learn to interpret data presented on a line plot and use operations on fractions to solve problems involving information presented in line plots as you complete this beach-themed, interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Problem-Solving Tasks

Computing Volume Progression 2:

Students are asked to find the volume of water in a tank that is 3/4 of the way full.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Computing Volume Progression 3:

Students are asked to find the height of a rectangular prism when given the length, width and volume.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Carnival Tickets:

The purpose of this task is for students to solve multi-step problems in a context involving a concept that supports financial literacy, namely inflation. Inflation is a sustained increase in the average price level. In this task, students can see that if the price level increases and people’s incomes do not increase, they aren’t able to purchase as many goods and services; in other words, their purchasing power decreases.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

What is 23 ÷ 5?:

When a division problem involving whole numbers does not result in a whole number quotient, it is important for students to be able to decide whether the context requires the result to be reported as a whole number with remainder (as with Part (b)) or a mixed number/decimal (as with Part (c)). Part (a) presents two variations on a context that require these two different responses to highlight the distinction between them.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many servings of oatmeal?:

This task provides a context for performing division of a whole number by a unit fraction. This problem is a "How many groups?'' example of division: the "groups'' in this case are the servings of oatmeal and the question is asking how many servings (or groups) there are in the package.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Painting a room:

The purpose of this task is to provide students with a situation in which it is natural for them to divide a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number. Determining the amount of paint that Kulani needs for each wall illustrates an understanding of the meaning of dividing a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Painting a Wall:

The purpose of this task is for students to find the answer to a question in context that can be represented by fraction multiplication. This task is appropriate for either instruction or assessment depending on how it is used and where students are in their understanding of fraction multiplication.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Origami Stars:

The purpose of this task is to present students with a situation in which they need to divide a whole number by a unit fraction in order to find a solution. Calculating the number of origami stars that Avery and Megan can make illustrates student understanding of the process of dividing a whole number by a unit fraction.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Making Cookies:

This tasks lends itself very well to multiple solution methods. Students may learn a lot by comparing different methods. Students who are already comfortable with fraction multiplication can go straight to the numeric solutions given below. Students who are still unsure of the meanings of these operations can draw pictures or diagrams.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Jog-A-Thon:

The purpose of this task is to present students with a situation where it is natural to add fractions with unlike denominators; it can be used for either assessment or instructional purposes. Teachers should anticipate two types of solutions: one where students calculate the distance Alex ran to determine an answer, and one where students compare the two parts of his run to benchmark fractions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

To Multiply or not to multiply?:

The purpose of this task is to familiarize students with multiplying fractions with real-world questions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Salad Dressing:

The purpose of this task is to have students add fractions with unlike denominators and divide a unit fraction by a whole number. This accessible real-life context provides students with an opportunity to apply their understanding of addition as joining two separate quantities.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Running to School:

The task could be one of the first activities for introducing the multiplication of fractions.  The task has fractions which are easy to draw and provides a linear situation.  Students benefit from reasoning through the solution to such word problems before they are told that they can be solved by multiplying the fractions; this helps them develop meaning for fraction multiplication.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Half of a Recipe:

This is the third problem in a series of three tasks involving fraction multiplication that can be solved with pictures or number lines. The first, Running to school, does not require that the unit fractions that comprise 3/4 be subdivided in order to find 1/3 of 3/4. The second task, Drinking Juice, does require students to subdivide the unit fractions that comprise 1/2 in order to find 3/4 of 1/2. This task also requires subdivision and involves multiplying a fraction and a mixed number.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Converting Fractions of a Unit into a Smaller Unit:

The purpose of this task is to help students gain a better understanding of fractions and the conversion of fractions into smaller units.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many marbles?:

This task is intended to complement "How many servings of oatmeal?" and "Molly's run.'' All three tasks address the division problem 4÷1/3 but from different points of view. This task provides a how many in each group version of 4÷1/3. This task should be done together with the "How many servings of oatmeal" task with specific attention paid to the very different pictures representing the two situations.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Drinking Juice:

This is the second problem in a series of three tasks involving fraction multiplication that can be solved with pictures or number lines. This task does require students to subdivide the unit fractions that comprise 1/2 in order to find 3/4 of 1/2.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Do These Add Up?:

This task addresses common errors that students make when interpreting adding fractions word problems. It is very important for students to recognize that they only add fractions when the fractions refer to the same whole, and also when the fractions of the whole being added do not overlap. This set of questions is designed to enhance a student's understanding of when it is and is not appropriate to add fractions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Dividing by One-Half:

This task requires students to recognize both "number of groups unknown" (part (a)) and "group size unknown" (part (d)) division problems in the context of a whole number divided by a unit fraction. It also addresses a common misconception that students have where they confuse dividing by 2 or multiplying by 1/2 with dividing by 1/2.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Banana Pudding:

The purpose of this task is to provide students with a concrete situation they can model by dividing a whole number by a unit fraction. For students who are just beginning to think about the meaning of division by a unit fraction (or students who have never cooked), the teacher can bring in a 1/4 cup measuring cup so that students can act it out. If students can reason through parts (a) and (b) successfully, they will be well-situated to think about part (c) which could yield different solution methods.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Teaching Idea

Space Math - Big Moons and Small Planets:

Students use a scale representation of the top 26 small planets and large moons in the solar system to compare their relative sizes to Earth. Students will use simple fractions to solve real world problems.

Type: Teaching Idea

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Chocolate Shop Challenge Part 2: Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers Using Number Lines:

Solve real-world word problems involving dividing a unit fraction by a whole number and dividing a whole number by a unit fraction using number lines in this chocolate-themed, interactive tutorial. 

This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Click HERE to open "Chocolate Shop Challenge Part 1: Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers Using Fraction Bar Models"

Click HERE to open the related tutorial, "David Divides Desserts: Divide a Unit Fraction by a Whole Number"

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Chocolate Shop Challenge Part 1: Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers Using Fraction Bar Models:

Divide unit fractions by whole numbers and divide whole numbers by unit fractions in this chocolate-themed, interactive tutorial.

This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Click HERE to open "Chocolate Shop Challenge Part 2: Dividing Unit Fractions and Whole Numbers Using Number Lines"

Type: Original Student Tutorial

David Divides Desserts: Divide a Unit Fraction by a Whole Number:

Learn to solve word problems involving division of a unit fraction by a whole number by using models, expressions, equations, and strategic thinking in this interactive, dessert-themed tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Making Art Part 2: Solving Addition and Subtraction Fraction Word Problems:

Learn to solve addition and subtraction word problems involving fractions with unlike denominators. As you complete this art-themed, interactive tutorial, you'll use visual models, write and solve equations, and check the reasonableness of results based on estimates.

This is part 2 of a two-part series. Click below to open part 1.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Making Art Part 1: Estimating Adding and Subtracting Fractions Using Benchmarks:

Read word problems and use number lines with benchmarks to solve multi-step problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators. In this tutorial, you will help Daisy and Angie paint pictures using fractions. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Samantha’s Shell-Collecting Adventure:

Learn to interpret data presented on a line plot and use operations on fractions to solve problems involving information presented in line plots as you complete this beach-themed, interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Problem-Solving Tasks

Computing Volume Progression 2:

Students are asked to find the volume of water in a tank that is 3/4 of the way full.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Computing Volume Progression 3:

Students are asked to find the height of a rectangular prism when given the length, width and volume.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Carnival Tickets:

The purpose of this task is for students to solve multi-step problems in a context involving a concept that supports financial literacy, namely inflation. Inflation is a sustained increase in the average price level. In this task, students can see that if the price level increases and people’s incomes do not increase, they aren’t able to purchase as many goods and services; in other words, their purchasing power decreases.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

What is 23 ÷ 5?:

When a division problem involving whole numbers does not result in a whole number quotient, it is important for students to be able to decide whether the context requires the result to be reported as a whole number with remainder (as with Part (b)) or a mixed number/decimal (as with Part (c)). Part (a) presents two variations on a context that require these two different responses to highlight the distinction between them.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many servings of oatmeal?:

This task provides a context for performing division of a whole number by a unit fraction. This problem is a "How many groups?'' example of division: the "groups'' in this case are the servings of oatmeal and the question is asking how many servings (or groups) there are in the package.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Painting a room:

The purpose of this task is to provide students with a situation in which it is natural for them to divide a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number. Determining the amount of paint that Kulani needs for each wall illustrates an understanding of the meaning of dividing a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Painting a Wall:

The purpose of this task is for students to find the answer to a question in context that can be represented by fraction multiplication. This task is appropriate for either instruction or assessment depending on how it is used and where students are in their understanding of fraction multiplication.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Origami Stars:

The purpose of this task is to present students with a situation in which they need to divide a whole number by a unit fraction in order to find a solution. Calculating the number of origami stars that Avery and Megan can make illustrates student understanding of the process of dividing a whole number by a unit fraction.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Making Cookies:

This tasks lends itself very well to multiple solution methods. Students may learn a lot by comparing different methods. Students who are already comfortable with fraction multiplication can go straight to the numeric solutions given below. Students who are still unsure of the meanings of these operations can draw pictures or diagrams.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Jog-A-Thon:

The purpose of this task is to present students with a situation where it is natural to add fractions with unlike denominators; it can be used for either assessment or instructional purposes. Teachers should anticipate two types of solutions: one where students calculate the distance Alex ran to determine an answer, and one where students compare the two parts of his run to benchmark fractions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

To Multiply or not to multiply?:

The purpose of this task is to familiarize students with multiplying fractions with real-world questions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Salad Dressing:

The purpose of this task is to have students add fractions with unlike denominators and divide a unit fraction by a whole number. This accessible real-life context provides students with an opportunity to apply their understanding of addition as joining two separate quantities.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Running to School:

The task could be one of the first activities for introducing the multiplication of fractions.  The task has fractions which are easy to draw and provides a linear situation.  Students benefit from reasoning through the solution to such word problems before they are told that they can be solved by multiplying the fractions; this helps them develop meaning for fraction multiplication.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Half of a Recipe:

This is the third problem in a series of three tasks involving fraction multiplication that can be solved with pictures or number lines. The first, Running to school, does not require that the unit fractions that comprise 3/4 be subdivided in order to find 1/3 of 3/4. The second task, Drinking Juice, does require students to subdivide the unit fractions that comprise 1/2 in order to find 3/4 of 1/2. This task also requires subdivision and involves multiplying a fraction and a mixed number.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Converting Fractions of a Unit into a Smaller Unit:

The purpose of this task is to help students gain a better understanding of fractions and the conversion of fractions into smaller units.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many marbles?:

This task is intended to complement "How many servings of oatmeal?" and "Molly's run.'' All three tasks address the division problem 4÷1/3 but from different points of view. This task provides a how many in each group version of 4÷1/3. This task should be done together with the "How many servings of oatmeal" task with specific attention paid to the very different pictures representing the two situations.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Drinking Juice:

This is the second problem in a series of three tasks involving fraction multiplication that can be solved with pictures or number lines. This task does require students to subdivide the unit fractions that comprise 1/2 in order to find 3/4 of 1/2.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Do These Add Up?:

This task addresses common errors that students make when interpreting adding fractions word problems. It is very important for students to recognize that they only add fractions when the fractions refer to the same whole, and also when the fractions of the whole being added do not overlap. This set of questions is designed to enhance a student's understanding of when it is and is not appropriate to add fractions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Dividing by One-Half:

This task requires students to recognize both "number of groups unknown" (part (a)) and "group size unknown" (part (d)) division problems in the context of a whole number divided by a unit fraction. It also addresses a common misconception that students have where they confuse dividing by 2 or multiplying by 1/2 with dividing by 1/2.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Banana Pudding:

The purpose of this task is to provide students with a concrete situation they can model by dividing a whole number by a unit fraction. For students who are just beginning to think about the meaning of division by a unit fraction (or students who have never cooked), the teacher can bring in a 1/4 cup measuring cup so that students can act it out. If students can reason through parts (a) and (b) successfully, they will be well-situated to think about part (c) which could yield different solution methods.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Problem-Solving Tasks

Computing Volume Progression 2:

Students are asked to find the volume of water in a tank that is 3/4 of the way full.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Computing Volume Progression 3:

Students are asked to find the height of a rectangular prism when given the length, width and volume.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Carnival Tickets:

The purpose of this task is for students to solve multi-step problems in a context involving a concept that supports financial literacy, namely inflation. Inflation is a sustained increase in the average price level. In this task, students can see that if the price level increases and people’s incomes do not increase, they aren’t able to purchase as many goods and services; in other words, their purchasing power decreases.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

What is 23 ÷ 5?:

When a division problem involving whole numbers does not result in a whole number quotient, it is important for students to be able to decide whether the context requires the result to be reported as a whole number with remainder (as with Part (b)) or a mixed number/decimal (as with Part (c)). Part (a) presents two variations on a context that require these two different responses to highlight the distinction between them.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many servings of oatmeal?:

This task provides a context for performing division of a whole number by a unit fraction. This problem is a "How many groups?'' example of division: the "groups'' in this case are the servings of oatmeal and the question is asking how many servings (or groups) there are in the package.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Painting a room:

The purpose of this task is to provide students with a situation in which it is natural for them to divide a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number. Determining the amount of paint that Kulani needs for each wall illustrates an understanding of the meaning of dividing a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Painting a Wall:

The purpose of this task is for students to find the answer to a question in context that can be represented by fraction multiplication. This task is appropriate for either instruction or assessment depending on how it is used and where students are in their understanding of fraction multiplication.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Origami Stars:

The purpose of this task is to present students with a situation in which they need to divide a whole number by a unit fraction in order to find a solution. Calculating the number of origami stars that Avery and Megan can make illustrates student understanding of the process of dividing a whole number by a unit fraction.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Making Cookies:

This tasks lends itself very well to multiple solution methods. Students may learn a lot by comparing different methods. Students who are already comfortable with fraction multiplication can go straight to the numeric solutions given below. Students who are still unsure of the meanings of these operations can draw pictures or diagrams.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Jog-A-Thon:

The purpose of this task is to present students with a situation where it is natural to add fractions with unlike denominators; it can be used for either assessment or instructional purposes. Teachers should anticipate two types of solutions: one where students calculate the distance Alex ran to determine an answer, and one where students compare the two parts of his run to benchmark fractions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

To Multiply or not to multiply?:

The purpose of this task is to familiarize students with multiplying fractions with real-world questions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Salad Dressing:

The purpose of this task is to have students add fractions with unlike denominators and divide a unit fraction by a whole number. This accessible real-life context provides students with an opportunity to apply their understanding of addition as joining two separate quantities.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Running to School:

The task could be one of the first activities for introducing the multiplication of fractions.  The task has fractions which are easy to draw and provides a linear situation.  Students benefit from reasoning through the solution to such word problems before they are told that they can be solved by multiplying the fractions; this helps them develop meaning for fraction multiplication.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Half of a Recipe:

This is the third problem in a series of three tasks involving fraction multiplication that can be solved with pictures or number lines. The first, Running to school, does not require that the unit fractions that comprise 3/4 be subdivided in order to find 1/3 of 3/4. The second task, Drinking Juice, does require students to subdivide the unit fractions that comprise 1/2 in order to find 3/4 of 1/2. This task also requires subdivision and involves multiplying a fraction and a mixed number.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Converting Fractions of a Unit into a Smaller Unit:

The purpose of this task is to help students gain a better understanding of fractions and the conversion of fractions into smaller units.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many marbles?:

This task is intended to complement "How many servings of oatmeal?" and "Molly's run.'' All three tasks address the division problem 4÷1/3 but from different points of view. This task provides a how many in each group version of 4÷1/3. This task should be done together with the "How many servings of oatmeal" task with specific attention paid to the very different pictures representing the two situations.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Drinking Juice:

This is the second problem in a series of three tasks involving fraction multiplication that can be solved with pictures or number lines. This task does require students to subdivide the unit fractions that comprise 1/2 in order to find 3/4 of 1/2.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Do These Add Up?:

This task addresses common errors that students make when interpreting adding fractions word problems. It is very important for students to recognize that they only add fractions when the fractions refer to the same whole, and also when the fractions of the whole being added do not overlap. This set of questions is designed to enhance a student's understanding of when it is and is not appropriate to add fractions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Dividing by One-Half:

This task requires students to recognize both "number of groups unknown" (part (a)) and "group size unknown" (part (d)) division problems in the context of a whole number divided by a unit fraction. It also addresses a common misconception that students have where they confuse dividing by 2 or multiplying by 1/2 with dividing by 1/2.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Banana Pudding:

The purpose of this task is to provide students with a concrete situation they can model by dividing a whole number by a unit fraction. For students who are just beginning to think about the meaning of division by a unit fraction (or students who have never cooked), the teacher can bring in a 1/4 cup measuring cup so that students can act it out. If students can reason through parts (a) and (b) successfully, they will be well-situated to think about part (c) which could yield different solution methods.

Type: Problem-Solving Task