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  • Amy Johnson

    November 14, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    I teach sixth grade. My brother-in-law is a professor of math and math education students so I often go to him with wonders and questions in order for me to help teach my students. I picked up that when he made a fractional model with a rectangle he said, “Can we agree this is a whole?” I understood that if we don’t agree it is a whole it could change our whole division of the rectangle to mean something else. This was an A-Ha for me, so I started incorporating that phrasing with my students. There have been a few times when I have said this one on one with a student and have students look at me like, “Ok, whatever.” I just no understood that this is an indication that they are seeing that it isn’t inherently a whole unless we agree it is. I wonder if students have been given models before without this consideration of unitizing? Could we be creating confusion with models when we think we are trying to clear up a misconception? I think we underestimate the power of a model to create understanding or misunderstanding depending upon how the discussion around it goes.