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Topic: Which came first, * or / ?
Replies: 4   Last Post: Aug 17, 1995 2:29 PM

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Kevin J.Maguire

Posts: 16
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Which came first, * or / ?
Posted: Aug 17, 1995 12:41 AM
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Hello Eileen,
Please (members of this list) forgive me for forwarding a
personal note through the list. I've tried to reply to you Eileen
personally however your mail "bounces" back as 'no such user'!
Thank you for you informative note. It's rewarding to see that
we teachers (regardless of where we might be) have the same - or similar
- ideas about how we can best 'teach' or students. I like your idea of
using a wide variety of manipulatives to help your students develop an
understanding of the underlying concepts of the operations. I've just
read a paper on the difficulties children have in gaining concepts from
the use of manipulatives. Your note fits in very well with the comments
made in the paper.
One thing that occurs to me in the teaching of fractions is the
use of a number line (say) from -100 to +100. I've notices that many
children come very confused that the multiplication of fractions leads to
a smaller number (fraction) whereas when multiplying integers the result
is always an increase in the number e.g. 7 x 6 is 42 not a smaller number
than either of multiplier or the multiplicand whilst 1/2 of a 1/2 is a
quarter. By 'blowing-up' the number line between the 0 and the 1 so
that the children can visualize the fractions can sometimes help them to
locate the fractions on a continuum. I find that this is also useful
when introducing decimal fractions (and relating them to rational
numbers) where they can see that the order of the decimal places revolves
around the unit number.
I hope to hear from you some more.
'Bye for now and
kindest regards,
Kevin J. Maguire
School of Education Telephone: 61 3 9479 2080
La Trobe University

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