New Approaches To Teaching Fractions

Jun 24, 2020 | Champlin Park

This piece in the Wall Street Journal discusses students' difficulties with fractions, and ideas on improvng how fractions are taught in schools. 

//s3.amazonaws.com/www.mathnasium.com/upload/660/docs/Wall St Journal - New Approaches to Teaching Fractions.pdf

Mathnasium has the following tips for parents and guardians, to help your student better understand how to write and compute with fractions:

  1. *Have the students count by fractions just like you had them count by ones.  One-fourth, 2 fourths, 3 fourths, etc.  One third, two thirds, 3 thirds, etc.
  2. *Use fractional language in your daily life.  It doesn’t need to be a math lesson and it may seem awkward but it will have a lasting impact:
    • I have 7/8’s of a tank of gas
    • I only have an eighth of a tank of gas
    • Here is 1/12th of the pizza
    • I baked 2 dozen cookies, let’s take a third of them with us
    • Talk about the measuring cups you are using – there are 4- ¼ cups – in a whole cup,etc
    • Use an analog clock and use the phrase “a quarter after” or “a quarter to”
    • Relate fractional parts like when giving them a quarter say, “Here is a fourth of a dollar” or with a dime, “Here is a tenth of a dollar”.
  3. *Relate fractions to things they love:
    • Music -  point out the meaning of a quarter note, a half note wwwand a dotted half note
    • Sports -  talk about batting averages, shooting percentage, etc.