NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1035805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Revisit Pattern Blocks to Develop Rational Number Sense
Champion, Joe; Wheeler, Ann
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v19 n6 p336-343 Feb 2014
Pattern blocks are inexpensive wooden, foam, or plastic manipulatives developed in the 1960s to help students build an understanding of shapes, proportions, equivalence, and fractions (EDC 1968). The colorful collection of basic shapes in classic pattern block kits affords opportunities for amazing puzzle-like problem-solving tasks and for exploring underlying mathematical relationships. These visuals can help build students' conceptual and procedural understandings of rational numbers (Reimer and Moyer-Packenham 2005). To illustrate the accessibility and challenges of problem solving with pattern blocks at the middle school level, the authors of this article present increasingly challenging problems. The problems described progress from constructing shapes with given proportions to creating arrangements with given percentage, fractional, and decimal quantities to building seven completely simplified representations of any given rational number.
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; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A