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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Teaching Fractions in Grade 2

Teaching Fractions in Grade 2

Watch a second-grade teacher describe a review lesson designed to check understanding of fractions, decimals, and percents. This classroom presentation was shown in the topic National Mathematics...

School Example
Video
03/12/2014
459 views

Fractions With Cuisinaire Rods

Students use the worksheet to record their explorations of equivalent fractions using Cuisenaire Rods. Their work is shown in Representations of Part-Whole Relationships. Related Media and...

Sample Material
Document
03/12/2014
977 views
Representations of Part-Whole Relationships

Representations of Part-Whole Relationships

Listen to how a math coach works with second graders on fair sharing and fraction equivalence challenges. The lesson culminates with students exploring parts of a whole and equivalencies,...

School Example
Video
03/12/2014
851 views
Building on Intuitive Understanding

Building on Intuitive Understanding

Dr. Thomas P. Carpenter discusses the importance of building children’s conceptual understanding of fractions based on intuitive ideas about sharing and apportioning objects. He demonstrates...

Expert Interview
Video
03/12/2014
1192 views
The Conceptual Basis for Fractions

The Conceptual Basis for Fractions

This multimedia overview introduces how children’s intuitive understandings of sharing and proportion can serve as a foundation on which to build formal instruction of fraction concepts. This...

Overview
Video
03/12/2014
1302 views
A Learning Trajectory for Fractions

A Learning Trajectory for Fractions

Mathematics coaches describe what they’ve observed about how children deepen their understanding of fractions. They unpack the skills required to perform fraction operations using a technique...

School Example
Video
03/11/2014
695 views

Fractions Planning Template #4

This tool shows alignment with Common Core State Standards, for planning professional development.

Planning Template
Document
03/11/2014
1048 views

Fractions Planning Template #3

For working with state education agencies on setting a policy climate for improving teacher quality in math, specifically related to rational numbers.

Planning Template
Document
03/11/2014
876 views

Fractions Planning Template #2

For working with districts on recommendations from the IES Practice Guide on effective fractions instruction. The intent is for district leaders to apply the recommendations to the design of...

Planning Template
Document
03/11/2014
1027 views

Fractions Planning Template #1

For working with schools on a set of options that can be implemented for improving instruction in rational numbers.

Planning Template
Document
03/11/2014
985 views
What Teachers Need to Know About Teaching Fractions

What Teachers Need to Know About Teaching Fractions

Dr. Francis “Skip” Fennell describes the knowledge teachers need to teach fractions effectively, paying special attention to multiple strategies for representing problems involving fractions. He...

Expert Interview
Video
03/11/2014
1441 views
The Importance of Fractions Instruction

The Importance of Fractions Instruction

Dr. Siegler discusses why competence with fractions is critical for more advanced math and why U.S. students have difficulty grasping fractions. He also describes the developmental sequence that...

Expert Interview
Video
03/11/2014
1612 views
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