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How To Build Fluency and Flexibility Multiplying Fractions With Number Talks

A Classroom Number Talk Sneak Peek

With the Make Math Moments Team constantly sharing how we might go about changing our lessons to a problem based approach, some questions we often get from teachers include:

“What do we do after the problem based lesson to help students build fluency and flexibility with concept or skill?”

Over the past little while, we’ve shared a few videos unpacking how we can use problem based lessons to teach comparing fractions, multiplying fractions and even dividing fractions. Well in today’s video, we’re going to look at what day 2 after introducing multiplying fractions through the context of shovelling driveways might look like to ensure that students develop a firm understanding of the new learning they ‘bumped into’ the previous day.

In particular, you’ll learn:

  1. How to build off of a problem based lesson using a math talk structure involving a related string of problems;
  2. How to leverage the area model as a tool for thinking and a tool to represent thinking when multiplying fractions;
  3. Where you can go to use a full problem based math lesson related to this context of “shovelling the driveway” for multiplying fractions.

Resources Related To The Video

  1. Learn about the Curiosity Path by reading our 3-Part Framework
  2. Check out the Shovelling The Driveway [Multiplying Fractions] Problem Based Math Unit
  3. Explore other Visual Math Talk Prompts available on the web
  4. Visit Make Math Moments Problem Based Math Lessons page for other useful problem based units
  5. Up your pedagogical and content knowledge game by joining our Make Math Moments Teacher Academy!

Want to Run Problem Based Lessons Without a Hitch In Your Classroom?

Head over to the Make Math Moments 3-Part Framework page to dive right in or click below to download the guidebook to take with you!


Why not bring the 3-Part Framework Guidebook with you?

Download the PDF so you can share with your professional learning network via print or email!


Each lesson consists of:

Each Make Math Moments Problem Based Lesson consists of a Teacher Guide to lead you step-by-step through the planning process to ensure your lesson runs without a hitch!

Each Teacher Guide consists of:

  • Intentionality of the lesson;
  • A step-by-step walk through of each phase of the lesson;
  • Visuals, animations, and videos unpacking big ideas, strategies, and models we intend to emerge during the lesson;
  • Sample student approaches to assist in anticipating what your students might do;
  • Resources and downloads including Keynote, Powerpoint, Media Files, and Teacher Guide printable PDF; and,
  • Much more!

Each Make Math Moments Problem Based Lesson begins with a story, visual, video, or other method to Spark Curiosity through context.

Students will often Notice and Wonder before making an estimate to draw them in and invest in the problem.

After student voice has been heard and acknowledged, we will set students off on a Productive Struggle via a prompt related to the Spark context.

These prompts are given each lesson with the following conditions:

  • No calculators are to be used; and,
  • Students are to focus on how they can convince their math community that their solution is valid.

Students are left to engage in a productive struggle as the facilitator circulates to observe and engage in conversation as a means of assessing formatively.

The facilitator is instructed through the Teacher Guide on what specific strategies and models could be used to make connections and consolidate the learning from the lesson.

Often times, animations and walk through videos are provided in the Teacher Guide to assist with planning and delivering the consolidation.

A review image, video, or animation is provided as a conclusion to the task from the lesson.

While this might feel like a natural ending to the context students have been exploring, it is just the beginning as we look to leverage this context via extensions and additional lessons to dig deeper.

At the end of each lesson, consolidation prompts and/or extensions are crafted for students to purposefully practice and demonstrate their current understanding. 

Facilitators are encouraged to collect these consolidation prompts as a means to engage in the assessment process and inform next moves for instruction.

In multi-day units of study, Math Talks are crafted to help build on the thinking from the previous day and build towards the next step in the developmental progression of the concept(s) we are exploring.

Each Math Talk is constructed as a string of related problems that build with intentionality to emerge specific big ideas, strategies, and mathematical models. 

Make Math Moments Problem Based Lessons and Day 1 Teacher Guides are openly available for you to leverage and use with your students without becoming a Make Math Moments Academy Member.

Use our OPEN ACCESS multi-day problem based units!

Make Math Moments Problem Based Lessons and Day 1 Teacher Guides are openly available for you to leverage and use with your students without becoming a Make Math Moments Academy Member.

MMM Unit - Snack Time Fractions Unit


Partitive Division Resulting in a Fraction

Shot Put Multi Day Problem Based Unit - Algebraic Substitution


Equivalence and Algebraic Substitution

Wooly Worm Race - Representing and Adding Fractions


Fractions and Metric Units


Scavenger Hunt - Data Management and Finding The Mean

Scavenger Hunt

Represent Categorical Data & Explore Mean

Downloadable resources including blackline mastershandouts, printable Tips Sheetsslide shows, and media files do require a Make Math Moments Academy Membership.

Use our OPEN ACCESS multi-day problem based units!