Source: Cyberchase: “A Fraction of a Chance”
Funding for the VITAL/Ready to Teach collection was secured through the United States Department of Education under the Ready to Teach Program.
In this video segment from Cyberchase, Harry gets a new job as the manager of a candy store. Customers who come into the store use fractions to order boxes of different types of chocolates. Harry teaches his cousin, Harley, how the fractional amounts correspond to the number of pieces to place in the box. Harley takes over during Harry’s lunch break, and when Harry returns he finds a disappointed customer was not given the correct amount of chocolates in his order.
Here are some Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions for using this video in a math lesson.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame: When we have a group or a set of something, like a bowl of berries, we can use fractions to talk about how much of the bowl is made up of one particular fruit, such as strawberries. If there are 12 berries in the bowl and 3 are strawberries, what fraction could we use to describe the amount of berries that are strawberries? What fraction of that same bowl would be other kinds of berries?
Focus: As you watch this segment, notice all the different candy orders that Harry has to fill and how the customers use fractions to describe the mix of chocolates that they want. Write down at least one of the arrangements from one of the boxes.
Follow Up: Describe one candy arrangement from one of the orders that Harry filled. Use fractions to describe the arrangement. Why do you think the customers used fractions when they ordered? All of the boxes Harry used had space for eight candies. What is the smallest fraction of the box that could be used when placing an order? What would the largest fraction be?
HARRY: I've got a sweet job in an amazing place! And what's really awesome is I'm the manager! Harley! What are you doing here?
HARLEY: I heard about your job, I wanted to check it out. You know I have a thing for chocolate. So, how about some free samples?
HARRY: No way, Harley. Li-lac chocolates. Margaret? You sound awful. I… I hope you feel better. Have some chicken soup. Bye. My employee called in sick. I had something special planned for my lunch break. If I'm the only one here, I can't leave the store!
HARLEY: Let me help. I have great people skills.
HARRY: I don't know…
HARLEY: Hire me for the day and I'll cover for you while you go on your lunch break…
HARLEY: Great. Now that I'm an employee, can I have free samples?
HARRY: Harley, no. You have to pay, just like the customers.
CUSTOMER #1: I'd like a box of truffles, please. 5/8 hazelnut and 3/8 raspberry.
HARRY: Watch and learn. The bottom number shows how many pieces are in a whole box. The top number shows how many are hazelnut or raspberry. 5/8 hazelnut and 3/8 raspberry.
CUSTOMER #2: Hi, may I have a box of truffles, please? 5/8 hazelnut, 2/8 raspberry, and 1/8 mocha.
HARRY: Harley, pay attention.
CUSTOMER #2: Thank you.
HARRY: You're welcome.
HARLEY: Why don't you take your lunch break now?
HARRY: Are you sure you can handle this by yourself?
HARLEY: Of course! If you can do it, anybody can! What I mean is…since you're such a great teacher, I know what to do.
HARRY: Okay. Thanks, Harley.
HARLEY: My pleasure.
CUSTOMER #3: Hi, how are ya. I'd like to get a box of truffles – 4/8 hazelnut, 3/8 mocha and 1/8 caramel.
HARRY: Thanks for covering for me, Harley.
CUSTOMER #3: Hmmph! I just bought this box of truffles, and 4/8 are missing!!! There are only hazelnut truffles in this box!!! I also ordered 3/8 mocha and 1/8 caramel.
HARRY: I am so sorry. Of course, we'll replace the missing ones.
CUSTOMER #3: Hmmph!
HARRY: Do you know how that happened?
HARLEY: No idea.
HARRY: Hey Harley, I have some more chocolate for you.
HARLEY: You're fired!
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