Making Fractions Meaningful

  • Making Fractions Meaningful

    Kelly K. McCormick
    Sharing submarine sandwiches while touring New York City provides a powerful problem scenario for both elementary school students and preservice teachers to deepen their understanding of foundational concepts.
    Research and experience have shown us that we cannot afford to teach children the way we were taught; all children deserve to experience mathematics as a participatory sport, working hard to understand, represent, and make connections among significant concepts. To be able to support meaningful mathematical experiences, preservice elementary school teachers (PSTs) must learn mathematics in deep and meaningful ways (Ma 1999). They need to experience investigating and making sense of the mathematics they will be called on to teach. To expand their own—often limited—views of what it means to teach and learn elementary school mathematics, they also must observe and experience elementary school children investigating and making sense of important mathematical ideas.
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