(This is Part 2 of a 2 Part Story! Click here for Part 1.)
So, there I was – faced with the challenge to plan and execute a lesson for a formal observation with my new principal. Recently, my second graders were introduced to fractions, but the math book’s lesson… well, it failed.
However, I knew arts integration would be the key to an engaging, meaningful lesson. (Plus, I decided to use everyone’s favorite fraction… PIZZA!)
I can’t wait to share it with you now!
Pizza Fractions Lesson
This is a STEAM/ Project Based lesson plan. Technology is integrated into the project using the See Saw APP and our class iPads. We are not a 1:1 school so 22 students partnered up and shared 7 iPads. This worked out surprisingly well as each partner group finished at different times.
See below for standards addressed CCSS Math & 21st Century Learning.
Students were given a real life simulation of needing to jump in and help an understaffed pizza place. Partners were to fill a pizza order and deliver it via video. They each got an order form requesting toppings in thirds, halves or fourths.
For example: ⅓ pepperoni, ⅓ olive & ⅓ mushroom
They made this pizza out of construction paper & presented it via See Saw.
My students started working on how to use the See Saw APP in September. This was our first assignment that allowed the kids to apply what we learned (how to create a video, how to upload to their portfolio, how to be on camera… eye contact, strong clear voice, etc.) for the use of a project. They are able to review their video before submitting incase they need to revise it.
See Lesson Plans for More detail.
The Pizza Fractions lesson plan took 2 sessions (or 3 total hours) to complete. Integrating visual art (construction paper pizzas) and technology (SeeSaw) with our (seemingly unsuccessful) textbook math lesson really helped me to create a real-life experience where students partitioned circles into equal shares.
There were 3 different template order forms distributed to the 23 students (2 halves, 3 thirds, or 4 fourths) made to formatively assess the learning that was taking place.
Kids certainly enjoyed creating the pizzas and using our iPads.
Partition circles and rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, thirds, half of, a third of, etc., and describe the whole as two halves, three thirds, four fourths. Recognize that equal shares of identical wholes need not have the same shape.
I knew the principal wanted to see more 21st century learning & parent engagement so instead of a traditional skit or play, I had the kids video each other & send it to parents with our APP.
The 21st Century Skills included in this lesson were:
Communication and Collaboration
- Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
- Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade)
- Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to judge their effectiveness a priori as well as assess their impact
We used our adopted Common Core Math curriculum to introduce fractions (which totally tanked to be honest) so I was really glad to be doing a STEAM based fractions lesson as a follow-up. We referenced our adopted curriculum and expanded on those early experiences.
You are an employee at Acme Pizza (or use your local pizza place). You are short staffed today and will need to make and deliver the pizza yourselves!
You and a partner will make the pizza using construction paper and a pizza box. Then you will make a video of your partner delivering your finished pizza on the See Saw App.”
(Side notes: 1. I asked a local pizza place if they’d donate boxes for a school project- they were happy to help! 2. The kids already had a few lessons on how to use the app. SEE SAW is hands down my favorite APP!)
- Construction paper: different colors for the crust, toppings & black 12 x 18 for background (to glue the pizza to)
- Anchor Charts: fractions diagram, 1/2 1/3 1/4, sample of completed work (see photo below Lesson Sequence “Pizza Fractions”)
- Chart paper & markers
- Pizza Order Forms – I used two forms for this lesson.
- I created my own that was a preset order that the kids needed to fill out. This way it’s just like when an order comes into the restaurant and you have to make what pizza the customers request. All kids had to make one whole pizza to show toppings per the order from. One form requested halves (ex: ½ pepperoni, ½ mushroom), one form thirds (⅓ ham, ⅓ pineapple, ⅓ extra cheese) and one form requested fourths (¼ tomato, ¼ mushroom, ¼ olive, ¼ bell pepper).
- The Over the Big Moon website has a great form they use for their family pizza night. I used this as a visual aide to show color and shape of the toppings. I pre-traced some shapes onto construction paper or card stock to represent the toppings. This was a good support for the kids who melt down if they cannot draw freehand.
- Card stock/ construction paper toppings for tracing, if needed
- Pizza Boxes
- See Saw APP
Phase 1 – Fill your Pizza Order
- Select or assign partners
- Provide materials
- Set Expectations, for example:
- STEP 1 Engage: Review fractions (2 halves make a whole, 3 thirds make a whole or 4 fourths make a whole)
- STEP 2 Explore: Read your order form (students are directed to make a pizza with toppings that are 2 halves, 3 thirds or 4 fourths) and prepare your pizza made out of construction paper. Prepare your toppings and crust FIRST.
- STEP 3 Explain: Re-read your order form. Did you prepare the right amount of toppings? Double check to make sure. Ex: one half olive, one half pepperoni pizza. When you’re done raise your hand. I will check your work before you glue.
- STEP 4:Explore “You have 30 minutes to work before check-in, you are cutting and organizing your pizza before we begin gluing. DO NOT GLUE until we’ve checked in.”
- Observe partner interactions and help with problem solving.
It is important to check in with the students as they work. The following questions helped to guide me:
- Where is everyone at in the assignment (did they follow all STEPs 1 – 4 of the instructions)?
- How is this lesson progressing? (How many are ready for their presentation?)
- Tell students what the next steps for completing the assignment are.
- Set out the toppings without gluing them down yet.
- CHECK: Does your pizza shows the correct fractions?
Phase 2 – Deliver Your Pizza
I used a loose interpretation of the 2004 Visual and Performing Arts framework since they are still working on revising these standards. Kids worked in pairs and focused on critiquing their own performance, as well as their partners. Our project was more like improv and less of a theatrical work with characters, etc. Our students do an end of the year play and this is one tool we use to help them prepare to give a live performance.
Visual & Performing Arts Standards (Theater):
2.1 (Creative Expression) Perform in group improvisational theatrical games that develop cooperative skills and concentration.
4.1 (Aesthetic Valuing) Critique an actor’s performance as to the use of voice, gesture, facial expression, and movement to create character.
The 21st Century Skills included in this lesson were:
Communication and Collaboration
- Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts.
- Use communication for a range of purposes. (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade)
- Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to judge their effectiveness a priori as well as assess their impact.
The next phase of the assignment is to deliver their pizza using the class See Saw APP. Their partner makes a video of them delivering the order and clearly re-telling the topping fractions. Then they switch so that each child has their own video.
Phase 3 – Reflect
This is the final portion of the activity. We normally do our reflections “author’s circle” style. We sit in a circle and share out what we created and why. Classmates comment on something they notice (a compliment) or wonder (question).
My lesson was a success: students were engaged, parents were happy, tech was used, drama was integrated, teacher was satisfied and principal was pleased!
Now YOU can run with this great lesson idea. Try it out and share how it went!
Digital Chalkboard: 21st Century Skills
Common Core State Standards Initiative
Kristen Stewart (hyperdoc template that was formatted and changed to fit the assignment and class needs.)
Over the Bit Moon (pizza night order form)
About the Author: Serena has an MA. Ed. In Curriculum Development & Instruction and has been teaching K-3 for over 12 years.
She teaches part-time at a wonderful STEAM Based Elementary school in Ca., homeschools preschool and is a blogger at www.mudpiesandmanis.com where she shares with families how they have fun learning at home.