ERIC Number: EJ1033870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Can Kindergartners Do Fractions?
Teaching Children Mathematics, v20 n6 p354-364 Feb 2014
Mathematics professor Julie Cwikla decided that she needed to investigate young children's understandings and see what precurricular partitioning notions young minds bring to the fraction table. Cwikla realized that only a handful of studies have examined how preschool-age and early elementary school-age students solve fraction problems (Empson 1999, 2003; Hunting and Davis 1991; Miller 1984). Minimal empirical evidence exists as to whether children can comprehend or acquire such fractional concepts before the whole-number bias is ensconced (Ni and Zhou 2005). Her research investigates the following questions: Are preschool kindergarten children capable of understanding fractional quantities; If so, are they best presented in the context of fair sharing problems? Children's naïve understanding of fair sharing and the differences in strategies for solving contextual problems among three-, four-, and five-year-olds before they had any formal instruction were examined. All seven of the fraction items in this study were framed socially, using a snack-sharing context that the children would likely find familiar. Classroom implications of precurricular understanding are outlined.
Descriptors: Kindergarten, Elementary School Students, Young Children, Mathematical Concepts, Concept Formation, Mathematics Skills, Preschool Children, Cognitive Processes, Vocabulary, Age Differences, Freehand Drawing
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi