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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Ways to Measure 1 1/2 Cups

Ways to Measure 1 1/2 Cups

A fourth-grade teacher asks students to help solve his problem of measuring 1-1/2 cups without either a 1-cup or a 1/2-cup measuring cup, and instead with the use of many other size measuring cups....

School Example
Video
03/16/2014
828 views
Grade 5 Number Talk

Grade 5 Number Talk

Follow a teacher’s lesson on adding and subtracting fractions using fraction equivalents and relationships. Children share their strategies for solving the problems described in Dumb Friends League...

School Example
Video
03/16/2014
805 views
Supporting Teachers' Conceptual Understanding

Supporting Teachers' Conceptual Understanding

Listen to this interview with instructional facilitator Jonathan Wray as he describes how his district uses walk-throughs as one element of a multifaceted professional development plan for...

Expert Interview
Audio
03/16/2014
348 views
The Concepts Behind Operations

The Concepts Behind Operations

Dr. David C. Geary describes how to build students’ understanding of the concepts underlying operations with fractions, common misconceptions that children have, and what can be learned from their...

Expert Interview
Video
03/16/2014
896 views
Making Sense of Computational Procedures

Making Sense of Computational Procedures

Watch this multimedia overview to learn about the importance of focusing on conceptual understanding and procedural fluency with fractions operations and how they connect. The overview describes...

Overview
Video
03/16/2014
904 views

Teacher-Coach Reflection on Practice: Fractions as Numbers

This self-assessment helps teachers reflect on strategies they can use to improve students’ understanding of fractions as numbers with magnitudes that extend whole numbers. Related Files and...

Tool
Document
03/16/2014
923 views

Observing Students' Understanding Through Fraction Games

Using this observation tool, teachers can monitor students’ understanding of fraction concepts as they play the several fraction games highlighted throughout this topic. Related Files and...

Tool
Document
03/16/2014
983 views

Partitive and Measurement Fraction Problems

Dr. Brendefur uses two context problems to distinguish between partitive and measurement fraction problems. These two slides illustrate the differences between the two problems and demonstrate the...

Sample Material
Document
03/16/2014
931 views

Frank's Fresh Farm Produce

View a problem assigned to elementary school students that required the use of a double number line, and the solutions that groups of students developed. View the students working on the problem in...

Sample Material
Document
03/16/2014
796 views

Fraction Tracks Game

Fifth graders play this game to practice working with equivalent fractions, as seen in Fraction Game on Number Lines. Included are a game board and instructions for the game, including how to...

Sample Material
Document
03/16/2014
1023 views

Fraction Strip Game: Cover Up

A third-grade teacher uses this game to help students understand unit fractions and equivalences. Students work in pairs, following instructions to play two variations of the game. Making and Using...

Sample Material
Document
03/16/2014
1983 views
Multiple Interpretations of Fractions

Multiple Interpretations of Fractions

Professor Jonathan Brendefur describes how he helps teachers understand and teach different interpretations of fractions. He explains the importance of explicitly teaching about various...

School Example
Video
03/16/2014
581 views
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