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ERIC Number: EJ1078000
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Iteration: Unit Fraction Knowledge and the French Fry Tasks
Tzur, Ron; Hunt, Jessica
Teaching Children Mathematics, v22 n3 p148-157 Oct 2015
Often, students who solve fraction tasks respond in ways that indicate inadequate conceptual grounding of unit fractions. Many elementary school curricula use folding, partitioning, shading, and naming parts of various wholes to develop children's understanding of unit and then nonunit fractions (e.g., coloring three of four parts of a pizza and naming it as three-fourths). Yet, using part-to-whole models for fractions rarely develops notions of rational numbers necessary for later proportional and algebraic reasoning. Through collaborative research and as an alternative to the part-whole approach, this article's aim is to teach fractions and solidify children's multiplicative notions of unit fractions through a core activity of unit iteration (i.e., using a single item, such as a paper strip of specific length, and repeating it a number of times to create and/or "measure" another unit). This article provides educators with an explanation of what the authors call the French Fry tasks--a series of tasks based on unit iteration that work to bring about children's unit fraction knowledge.
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; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A