Introducing operations with fractions in mathematics can sometimes be confusing for students and frustrating for teachers.

Providing some context within which students can conceptualise fractions can really help solidify these abstract concepts in students’ minds, especially when adding and subtracting fractions to amounts that are greater than a whole.

In this ‘low threshold, high ceiling’ task, students take the role of the owner of a cake wholesaler, baking and supplying cakes to local café businesses. As café owners order their weekly cakes by the slice, students are required to add unit fractions together to calculate total cake orders. They then solve problems associated with subtracting fractional remainders, using equivalent fractions and converting between improper fractions and mixed numerals.

This downloadable ‘rich task’ lesson resource is designed for teachers and students in Years 5 to 7. It is mapped against Australian Curriculum (Mathematics), with an emphasis on problem solving and reasoning in operating with fractions.

The task comes with a comprehensive grading rubric to assist teachers who wish to use the project for formal assessment purposes.

This task was developed in consultation with Greta Public School (NSW), a CHOOSEMATHS Schools Outreach partner school.

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