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 Subject: RE: Developing Fraction Concepts Author: Mathman Date: Nov 10 2004
On Nov  5 2004, nolandog wrote:
> I have found that if you have the students find fractional parts of
> many different real life objects they will be able to think beyond
> numbers. One activity they enjoy is to take a favorite saying or
> short riddle and use it the answer to breaking a code. An example
> would explain it clearer. The first 1/4 of doughnut + the middle 1/5
> of dodge = dog. They will need to see an example of this and their
> first attempts will be in the form of the first 1/x of each word but
> experience will help. When each student has a really good puzzle we
> send them to another class for them to solve.

Also, the book
> "It's Not Immoral to Count on Your Fingers" is a great resource. I
> have used it for several years. My students are high school SCI and
> lower resource and they resist using the manipulative circles. I
> have found over the years that you must make them. I try to explain
> to them that everyone uses a manipulative of some sort but they
> still think it is being a baby. Often I will use two sets of the
> circles to model a fraction. The 3 of 3/4 would be modeled with 3 of
> the quarter circles and the 4 with 4 of the quarter circles.

I like it!  Will pass it along to my nephew, a special ed teacher.  If you hear
any teacher berating finger counting, introduce them to Base 16 arithmetic, and
watch them try without if their first time at it.  Still, I do always suggest
only as a very last resort for older students when other means are exhausted.
It's not an avoidance, but a crutch tends to make one reliant on it.  I've seen
competent young people doing it until taught otherwise.  OK for those in great
difficulty ...whatever works.  I don't know if it's appropriate, but look into
"Chismbop" as well perhaps.