A strong understanding of fractions is essential for student success in algebra and more advanced math courses, and the earlier this foundation is built the better. Unfortunately, many students in the U.S. struggle with basic fractions concepts and face increased challenges as the concepts get more complex.

To effectively close the gaps in students' fractions knowledge, K-3 teachers should begin fractions instruction using students' informal understandings of sharing and proportion as the basis for formal instruction of basic fraction concepts. They should also ensure that students understand fractions as numbers in the rational number system and have strong proportional reasoning that will support them in performing operations with fractions.

To learn more about the research underlying these practices, view the IES Practice Guide, Developing Effective Fractions Instruction for Kindergarten Through 8th Grade.

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Learning to Think Proportionally

Learning to Think Proportionally

Dr. James Lewis discusses what it means to think proportionally and offers examples from everyday contexts. He describes the conceptual progression toward working with cross-multiplication and...

Expert Interview
Video
03/16/2014
466 views
Developing Proportional Reasoning

Developing Proportional Reasoning

This multimedia overview offers an introduction to students’ development of proportional thinking and its relationship to cross-multiplication. It describes recommended instructional strategies for...

Overview
Video
03/16/2014
651 views

Learning Together About Number Lines

Math coaches can present this workshop to primary- and intermediate-grade teachers to demonstrate the versatile uses of number lines in explaining fraction concepts. Related Files and...

Tool
Document
03/16/2014
900 views

Learning Together About Students' Misconceptions About Fraction Operations

This professional development workshop is designed to create awareness about students’ potential misconceptions related to fraction operations. Related Media: Making Sense of Computational...

Tool
Document
03/16/2014
937 views

Walk-Throughs: Teaching Fraction Operations

Use the “look-fors” in this tool as a guide for observational walk-throughs of elementary and middle school math classes. Related Files and Media: Developing Effective Fractions...

Tool
Document
03/16/2014
828 views

Planner: Meaningful Student Assignments With Fraction Operations

Intermediate-grade teachers can use this planning tool to develop practice problems in adding and multiplying fractions based in real-world situations. Related Files and Media: Developing...

Tool
Document
03/16/2014
723 views

Multiply or Divide Problems

Participants in the Multiply or Divide? staff development session on fraction operations worked with this problem set to strengthen their understanding of fraction multiplication and division...

Sample Material
Document
03/16/2014
942 views

Focus on Fraction Operations

This PowerPoint covers the content of a staff development session for math coaches and teachers about how to teach fraction operations. Multiply or Divide? shows a portion of the workshop in which...

Sample Material
Document
03/16/2014
1503 views

Web Shots for Spiderman Problem

Students use this worksheet to record findings from exploration with Cuisenaire Rods as they build a foundation for working with equivalent fractions. Their work is shown in Solving a Real-World...

Sample Material
Document
03/16/2014
1097 views

Dumb Friends League Problem

Students work on this set of real-world problems about placing homeless dogs in animal shelters. The problems require comparison of fractions as seen in Grade 5 Number Talk. Related Media and...

Sample Material
Document
03/16/2014
873 views
Multiply or Divide?

Multiply or Divide?

This staff development session provides suggestions for helping students understand fraction multiplication and division concepts. Follow the full session through Focus on Fraction Operations and...

School Example
Video
03/16/2014
753 views
Solving a Real-World Fraction Division Problem

Solving a Real-World Fraction Division Problem

A fifth-grade teacher poses a fraction division problem and challenges students to find different approaches to a solution. One student uses a number line; others use build-up strategies. See their...

School Example
Video
03/16/2014
1014 views
  • Items 13 - 24 of 62