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Discussion: All Activities in Math 7 for Fractions <--> decimals on Computer
Topic: fractions


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Subject:   RE: fractions
Author: Mathman
Date: Jan 6 2005
On Nov  5 2004, mathias wrote:
> were do i start teaching a student about fractions

Mathias, would you please give some more information?  What age is the student?
Has he/she done any prior work on fractions?  You need to find out what he knows
to find out where to start.  If a child, you need what are today called
"manipulatives", something that can be seen in order to get a "feel" for the
relative sizes and what is happening.

The most fundamental concept, I believe [and I know of many uses in later
studies as well] is "equivalence".  That is, divide a strip into halves,
quarters, eighths, sixteenths, and so on, then find by examination realtionships
such as 6/8 = 3/4.  Do the same for thirds, sixths twelfths, then fiths tenths.
The reason is to see patterns with the simplest of numbers which continue for
all numbers.  Then go beyond the unit to include fractions greater than 1, and
find similar relationships by examination:  7/4 = 1 3/4  and so on.

Use the same sort of visual aid to see how fractions are added, and that bits
and pieces can be moved about, showing the distributive law ...and so on.  It's
a long game, not a short one, so take your time.  numbers need to be defined and
"seen", then there are manipulative skills in arithmetic, then shortcuts [HCF,
LCM...]

David.

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