Desmos: Ordering Fractions on a Number Line

A couple of months ago, my team and I ran a Desmos workshop for elementary teachers.   Two activities were highlighted.  The first was an individually paced challenge AB (activity builder).  The second activity shared can be run as a whole class discussion.  Both activities were tested in a 6th grade math intervention class.

  1. Self paced challenge:  What Fraction Am I?
  2. Whole Class Activity: Ordering Fractions on a Number Line.


Lesson Guide for Ordering Fractions on a Number Line

Slide 1:  This is a partner activity. One person uses the fraction model on slide 2 to compare fractions.  The other student estimates the placement of the given fractions on slide 3.  The students switch roles for each challenge.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 2.16.15 PM.png

Slide 2:  Comparing Fractions.  Click and drag on the blue point in the lower left hand side to move the fraction.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 2.22.12 PM.png                       Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 2.22.02 PM.png


Slide 3:  Ordering Fractions

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 2.32.55 PM.pngOnce you give students time to work together and decide on where to place their fractions,

  • Pause the activity
    • You don’t want students to change their answer once they see the class overlay
  • Click on the Overlay
    • The Overlay reveals the collective answers of the class, therefore highlighting misconceptions and areas of need.
    • Discuss the results as needed.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 2.40.50 PM.png                      Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 2.51.10 PM.png

  • Promote self reflection by un-pausing the activity and giving students a brief period of time to adjust their answers.  Then pause, show the overlay again and ask if anyone would like to share if they moved a fraction and why.


Revealing the Answer

Slides 3 – 10:  There are 7 Number Lines altogether.  Each number line has a code to reveal the correct placement of the given fractions.  For Number Line 1, the code is n = 1.  Instruct students to enter n = 1 in row 1 on the left hand side.  The correct placement of the fractions shows up under the number line in red.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 3.11.46 PM.png

You could also instruct student to enter the code while the overlay is displayed.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 2.45.53 PM.png


The Reveal Codes

The 7 reveal codes are listed below.  They are located within the teacher tips for each slide.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 3.30.12 PM.png

  • Slide 1:  n = 1
  • Slide 2:  n = 2
  • Slide 3:  n = 3
  • Slide 4:  n = 4
  • Slide 5:  m = 1
  • Slide 6:  m = 2
  • Slide 7:  m = 3


Checking Student Progress Using The Teacher Dashboard

The Teacher Dashboard holds a lot of valuable information beyond the class overlay.  In the picture below, the students are listed in alphabetical order.  You can click on any of these thumbnails to see a student’s individual work.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 3.36.08 PM.png


A couple of class overlays:

Slide 5:

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 3.29.24 PM.png

Slide 6:

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 3.29.06 PM.png



Sneak Peak into What Fraction Am I?

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 3.47.34 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 3.47.47 PM.png


*************************************************************************Other fraction related posts:



About jgvadnais

Instructional Technology Coach. Desmos Fellow. Google Level 1 Certified. SoCal transplant. New Englander at heart. Lover of yoga, dogs, green smoothies and coffee creamer
This entry was posted in desmos, fractions, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Desmos: Ordering Fractions on a Number Line

  1. Pingback: Why Do We Invert & Multiply? An Explanation | Communicating Mathematically

  2. Pingback: Dia del Global Math Department / Global Math Department

  3. Pingback: Desmos Polygraph: Place Value | Communicating Mathematically

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