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ERIC Number: EJ1068041
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1307-9298
An Alternative Route to Teaching Fraction Division: Abstraction of Common Denominator Algorithm
Zembat, Ismail Özgür
International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, v7 n3 p399-422 2015
From a curricular stand point, the traditional invert and multiply algorithm for division of fractions provides few affordances for linking to a rich understanding of fractions. On the other hand, an alternative algorithm, called common denominator algorithm, has many such affordances. The current study serves as an argument for shifting curriculum for fraction division from use of invert and multiply algorithm as a basis to the use of common denominator algorithm as a basis. This was accomplished with the analysis of learning of two prospective elementary teachers being an illustration of how to realize those conceptual affordances. In doing so, the article proposes an instructional sequence and details it by referring to both the (mathematical and pedagogical) advantages and the disadvantages. As a result, this algorithm has a conceptual basis depending on basic operations of partitioning, unitizing, and counting, which make it accessible to learners. Also, when participants are encouraged to construct this algorithm based on their work with diagrams, common denominator algorithm formalizes the work that they do with diagrams.
International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education. T&K Akademic Rosendalsvein 45, Oslo 1166, Norway. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A