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  • Heather Boysel

    April 8, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    I think the use of many representations for fractions is so important. The use of set models I feel is even more important. As an upper elementary teacher, I find that my students struggle the most with sets, especially when we are working with multiplying whole numbers and fractions. For example, the idea of finding a third of a group of brownies is much harder than modeling a third of one brownie. I also see the struggle of partioning cirlces with my 5th graders. For some of them, they are just not fluid in using various shapes to model their values. I do think that what I see as a teacher is the importance of building strong foundations with fractions. Again, what seems simple to adult learners is not necessarily simple to elementary aged students. I think that we as teachers, are guilty of not spending enough time providing activities that engage students in concrete experiences that deepen their fraction related thinking.

    One of the things that I am really concern and still wonder about is assessing understanding. There are many tasks and tools used to determine student progress with fractions, but I am not sure that they measure a deep understanding. Furthermore, I am not sure that many available assessments help to lead me to developing instructional plans to address students’ misunderstandings. Any suggestions?