Fourth Graders Explore the Magnitude of Fractions and Make Comparisons

PurposesLesson activity; Professional development activity; Student elaboration
DescriptionThis analytic reveals how task design and the revisiting of tasks that involve concrete models allow children to build deep understandings of fundamental concepts that often receive superficial treatment in standard curricula. In this case, children internalize the concepts of “common denominators” without using the term. At the end of an eleven-session unit on fraction comparison, the children evidence their intuitive grasp of the ways in which fractions can be compared. In the first part the students worked on comparing ¼ and 1/9. James as well as some other students successfully built models to show the difference as 5/36. In the next class session, after reviewing with the students what they had done, Researcher, Maher asked the them to compare a few fractions David was able to build on the knowledge of what they had worked on in the previous sessions to show the numerical progression of the fractions. This analytic demonstrates that the students intuitively understood the magnitude of fractions as a culmination of the work of the past 12 sessions.
Created on2014-02-17T12:47:26-0400
Published on2015-06-18T13:57:41-0400
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