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Topic:  Math Tools 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/431/ 
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Subject:  RE: Math Tools 
Author:  Mathman 
Date:  Oct 13 2006 
> Many of the students I tutor (grades 3
> 6)struggle with the concept of comparing fractions and ordering
> them.
That's not surprising really at such an early age. The underlying principle is
to have denominators the same, and so they need to understand then why what they
do to accomplish that is done the way it is. There is also the concept of LCD,
but that is not so important in this instance, since all they have to do then is
to compare the numerators. Denominators must be the same to compare apples and
apples. Prior to, and necessary for all of that is the understanding of the
notion of equivalent fractions. Without all of that prior understanding, they
are simply doing rote memory work, and it's tough to accomplish all of that
before grade 3. As mentioned in an earlier discussion some time back, there is
a similarity with the study of division of fractions, one by another. Most can
do it, but most do not know why it's done that way, it being based on the same
underlying principle of equivalence.
David.
 
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