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News from Mathnasium of SLP-Edina

New Approaches To Teaching Fractions

Jun 24, 2020

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

// 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.