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New Approaches to Teaching Fractions

Sep 24, 2013

New Approaches to Teaching Fractions: Creator Larry Martinek Quoted in the Wall Street Journal
Many students cruise along just fine in math until fourth grade or so. Then, they hit a wall—fractions. The wall is about to get taller. With mastery of the topic seen as a crucial stepping stone to progressing in math, federal standards are stepping up emphasis on fractions starting in third grade. National tests show nearly half of eighth-graders aren't able to put three fractions in order by size. The government is funding new research on more effective ways to teach the often-dreaded subject. The new methods preface early rote learning of complicated fraction rules with more work on building a conceptual understanding of fractions. And instead of traditional pie charts, they rely more on tools like number lines, paper models and games putting fractions in context.