NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1035766
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Decimal Fractions: An Important Point
Martinie, Sherri L.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v19 n7 p420-429 Mar 2014
How can a simple dot--the decimal point--be the source of such frustration for students and teachers? As the author worked through her own frustrations, she found that her students seemed to fall into groups in terms of misconceptions that they revealed when talking about and working with decimals. When asking students to illustrate their thinking and explain their ideas using various models, it became apparent that they lacked an understanding of place value in the base-ten number system. Furthermore, they did not recognize that decimal fractions were a special class of fractions with base-ten denominators. Teachers who are skilled at recognizing students' misconceptions about decimals are better equipped to make instructional decisions that build on these ideas. This article will focus on research on decimal comparison strategies, the behavior teachers see from students, and what it reveals about the thinking patterns and misconceptions that students possess as their knowledge develops over time. [A Bibliography is included.]
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A