|Second Look - Understanding Fractions|
Creating, Naming, and Justifying Fractions
For students to develop meaningful conceptions of fractions and fraction operations, they need to think of fractions in terms other than as just whole-number combinations. The authors suggest two powerful images for thinking about fractions that move beyond whole-number reasoning and can be used in the classroom to help support the teaching of fractions.
Fair Shares, Matey, or Walk the Plank
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.
Fractions and the funky cookie
A mathematics specialist has great success using a
pattern-block configuration to help a small group of fifth graders understand
that fractional parts of a whole unit must be equal in size. That’s just the
way the funky cookie crumbles.
Investigations: Fraction Action
An activity about Fractions focused on teaching numbers and operations.
Illuminations Unit: Eggsactly with 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.