ERIC Number: ED292630
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
Fractions--Concepts before Symbols.
Bennett, Albert B., Jr.
The learning difficulties that students experience with fractions begin immediately when they are shown fraction symbols with one numeral written above the other and told that the "top number" is called the numerator and the "bottom number" is called the denominator. This introduction to fractions will usually include a few visual diagrams to help students learn about these strange new number symbols, and soon thereafter the students are told the rules for operations on them. The purpose of this paper is to show how fraction concepts and operations can be taught intuitively with manipulative materials before fraction symbols and rules are introduced. This is demonstrated with part-to-whole models such as "Fraction Bars." The concepts are built progressively including the part-to-whole concept, equality, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. In each case, methods and examples are given. It is possible to teach fraction concepts and provide readiness for fraction operations before introducing fraction symbols or rules. Creating and playing games is an effective method of motivating students to become actively involved in the learning process. This paper recommends a lengthy readiness period for fractions and contains specific suggestions for activities during this period. (CW)
Descriptors: Elementary Education, Elementary School Mathematics, Functions (Mathematics), Fundamental Concepts, Intuition, Manipulative Materials, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematical Vocabulary, Mathematics Education, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Materials, Mathematics Skills, Ratios (Mathematics), Symbols (Mathematics), Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A