# More about Fractions: Do the Work in Guided Math Groups

The National Math Report said a great deal about fractions in elementary school. Here are a few of the research highlights (p 17-18):

**Pictorial representations, without sufficient emphasis on the nature of wholes**…**may be an obstacle***Number line representation may be more effective.***Words**also seem to**influence the mental representations**that children form concerning fractions

*Recommendations*

**Focus on conceptual knowledge first****Procedural knowledge is equally important**

**Successful Interventions include:**

- the
**use of fraction names that demarcate parts and wholes**, **the use of pictorial representations that are mapped onto the number line**,**composite representations**of fractions that are**linked to representations of the number line**.**Conceptual and procedural knowledge about fractions less than one do not necessarily transfer to fractions greater than one, and must be taught separately**.

** ****Curriculum: **

**Spend time doing fractions and proportional reasoning…** with the *goal for students being one of learning rather than performance*. However, there should be **ample opportunity in the curriculum for accurate self-evaluation**.

What do you think of that? Number lines are big here! Pull out the number lines when you teach fractions…Also, self-evaluation keeps coming up. Do you give your students time to self-evaluate? How does that look across the grade levels? Notice the emphasis on a learning rather than just performing. We want students doing WITH understanding!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

Hi Dr. Nicki,

I can’t believe the Grade 4 Common Core Standards for fractions. It definitely redefines how educators should look at how to teach students about fractions. I used a ruler as a model when I taught Grade 5, and you are emphasizing use of the number line. The CCSM also makes mention of unit fractions as a bsis for understanding. Ideally, this should make middle school math and algebra teachers happy. Great post!! Thank you.

LisaMay 2, 2011