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Q&A #1217


Basic math fractions

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 04, 1999 at 18:04:59
Subject: Re: Basic math fractions

> Dear Marielouise and Gail,Thank you for your fraction tips.

>Now, I also am working with a 7th grade boy who is just this year
>memorizing most of his multiplication problems. He is working on simple one
>digit division problems and has alot of difficulty remembering the correct
>number for the quotient. He gets very frustrated. What do you suggest as
the best way to proceed with him. Would it be better to have him work with
>a calculator or a multiplication chart?  Any other suggestions?
>Thank you


Perhaps he really doesn't "see" what he is doing. Have you tried letting him
use counters to work out these problems?  For example, if the problem is 29
divided by 3, have him take 29 beans, or other materials, and divide them
into three groups. Ask him how many are in each group. Then have him divide
them into groups of three, and ask him how many groups he made. If you ask
him to solve very simple word problems (that could be solved with division)
while he uses these manipulations, you will also  be helping him figure out a
context for this "skill" to be used in. Once he makes the connection that
dividing is making groups from a whole set, he may have less trouble figuring
out a reasonable estimate, and remembering the correct answer.

On the other hand, if he is having trouble remembering the quotient because
he still hasn't mastered the multiplication facts, your strategy of using the
chart is a good one. You might want to have him look for patterns in the
chart, and then relate what he sees to models using beans or some other
manipulations. He might begin with 24, and look for all the ways he can make
equal groups. Then he could find these groups on the multiplication chart.
Hope this gives you some ideas to start with.

 -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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