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April 2012, Volume 18, Issue 8


Calculating Puddle Size
Megan Burton and Patricia Mims
First-grade students’ cooperative problem solving to develop the concept of measurement gives their teacher an eye-opening pre-assessment.

Fair Shares, Matey, or Walk the Plank
P. Holt Wilson, Marrielle Myers, Cyndi Edgington, and Jere Confrey
Teaching young children to create equal-size groups is your treasure map for building students’ flexible, connected understanding of and reasoning about ratios, fractions, and multiplicative operations.

Making Sense of Fractions and Percentages
David J. Whitin and Phyllis Whitin
Constructing pie charts furnishes fifth graders with a meaningful context in a long-term study about commercial advertising during children’s television programs.
Second Look:
Understanding the Relationship Between Percents and Rational Numbers

CCSSM: Teaching in Grades 3 and 4
Angela T. Barlow and Shannon Harmon
How is each Common Core State Standard for Mathematics different from the old objective?

Second Look - Understanding the Relationship Between Percents and Rational Numbers

Investigating Mathematics as a Community of Learners
How third graders worked together to investigate relationships between fractions and percents using a spreadsheet tool. Highlights a student's creative approach to a proportion task.

Research, Reflection, Practice - Introducing Percents in Linear Measurement to Foster an Understanding of Rational-Number Operations
Articles in this department bridge the gap between research and practice by describing current research and then demonstrating its importance and applicability to practicing classroom teachers. May include summaries of research with references to full reports, relevant student work or examples of student dialog, and ideas for action research.

Masterpieces to Mathematics: Using Art to Teach Fraction, Decimal, and Percent Equivalents
A way to introduce fraction, decimal, and percent equivalents by linking student-created Op Art with examples of twentieth-century abstract painting. Article discusses differentiating instruction according to student ability level. Includes examples of student work and worksheets.

Illuminations Activity: Fraction Models

Explore different representations for fractions including improper fractions, mixed numbers, decimals, and percentages. Additionally, there are length, area, region, and set models. Adjust numerators and denominators to see how they alter the representations and models. Use the table to keep track of interesting fractions. 

Number and Operations Standard for Grades 3-5
In grades 3–5, students' development of number sense should continue, with a focus on multiplication and division. Their understanding of the meanings of these operations should grow deeper as they encounter a range of representations and problem situations, learn about the properties of these operations, and develop fluency in whole-number computation. An understanding of the base-ten number system should be extended through continued work with larger numbers as well as with decimals. Through the study of various meanings and models of fractions—how fractions are related to each other and to the unit whole and how they are represented—students can gain facility in comparing fractions, often by using benchmarks such as 1/2 or 1. They also should consider numbers less than zero through familiar models such as a thermometer or a number line.