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ERIC Number: EJ1119205
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Paper Plate Fractions: The Counting Connection
McCoy, Ann; Barnett, Joann; Stine, Tammy
Teaching Children Mathematics, v23 n4 p244-251 Nov 2016
Without a doubt, fractions prove to be a stumbling block for many children. Researchers have suggested a variety of explanations for why this is the case. The introduction of symbolization and operations before the development of conceptual understanding of fractions, a lack of understanding of the role of the numerator and denominator, and an overgeneralization of whole-number thinking have all been suggested as explanations for the difficulties children experience in working with fractions. The increased emphasis on fractions described in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) (CCSSI 2010) results in a greater need to address the challenges children face in developing fraction understanding. Although the misapplication of whole-number thinking can certainly be a challenge, connecting early fraction work to ways of working with whole numbers can also support children's developing understanding. Van de Walle and his colleagues (2014) suggested that educators find ways to show how fractions and whole numbers are alike and different. In this article, the authors share an activity that uses well-established, whole-number counting concepts to help third graders organize their thinking about fraction notation. In completing this activity, students are allowed to experience fraction notation before the formal introduction of the terms "numerator" and "denominator." A bibliography is included.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Grade 3; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A