Learning And Teaching Fractions At The Elementary Level
Volume 5 - Issue 7, July 2022 Edition
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Fractions, Elementary level fractions, Learning fractions, Teaching fractions, Fraction model
The concept of fractions is often thought of as one of the most difficult mathematical topics taught in elementary school, but why do students find fractions so confusing? It may be because fractions can represent so many different things – a part of a whole, a division, or a point on a number line. Or because students’ knowledge of whole numbers makes it difficult to understand why one half is larger than one-third. It also maybe because their teachers do not have a deep enough understanding of the subject. It may be a combination of these things. Whatever the reasons, the result of all of this confusion is often that fractions are taught in a less than meaningful way. Students learn vocabulary and quick tricks rather than what a fraction means. Teachers themselves do not have a complete understanding -- focus on one fraction model and use only one type of manipulative, if they use manipulatives at all, to instruct their students. These students may be able to successfully answer standardized test questions but do not understand fractions. Because they are an important concept in both school and everyday life, students need to develop a deeper understanding of fractions in an environment that supports investigation and inquiry.
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