Date: Jul 2, 1995 2:02 AM
Subject: Re: dropped topics(fractions in elem.)

As a fifth grade teacher who spent an inordinate amount of time on fractions
this year, I don't think they need to be dropped out of our elementary
curriculum, just taught and emphasized differently.

The instruction of fractions in elementary school should be almost completely
manipulative based. I modified my weekly schedule so I taught math two days a
week, three hours each day. I spent two hours exploring concepts with
manipulatives in cooperative groups, and modelling the "paper process" of
what they did. Then I gave students paper and they did both manipulatives and
paper to work the problem. Finally, when they were successful, (sometimes the
next day) I would have them use paper to predict then manipulatives to prove
their answer. Students loved this approach and although some continue to
struggle with the often long involved process of calculating fractions, they
can all perform the function at some level.

I think it is a good foundation for the complex math they will encounter in
7th and on. My students loved the challenge when given the supports they
needed to be successful.

Noelle Kreider
Rialto Unified, CA