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ERIC Number: EJ1081535
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Unpacking Referent Units in Fraction Operations
Philipp, Randolph A.; Hawthorne, Casey
Teaching Children Mathematics, v22 n4 p240-247 Nov 2015
Although fraction operations are procedurally straightforward, they are complex, because they require learners to conceptualize different units and view quantities in multiple ways. Prospective secondary school teachers sometimes provide an algebraic explanation for inverting and multiplying when dividing fractions. That authors of this article put forth that this proof may leverage the elegance of algebraic symbolic manipulation, but it does not address the underlying relationships that are so important for learners striving to understand fractions. In this article, the authors walk the reader through a lesson that has been used with prospective elementary and secondary school teachers for the purpose of highlighting key fraction concepts and principles necessary for teachers to understand if they are to support students in becoming mathematically proficient (NRC 2001) in the manner reflected in the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) (CCSSI 2010).
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: Secondary Education; Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A