Q&A #19512


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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 18, 2008 at 21:26:09
Subject: Re: Fractions

Hi Blanca,

I know for sure what I WOULDN'T do... I would not introduce them to the
algorithm for finding this answer. Instead, I would start with a number like
12, represented by twelve candies, or 12 items of some sort. I would ask
students to find "half" of that amount, and get them to talk about how they
determined what "half" was. Then I would find a third, then a fourth, each
time talking about their justification for the amounts. Meanwhile, I would
keep a chart for the class, to record what they were finding.  Since late
second grade can be a time to think about multiplication facts, perhaps the
students would "discover" something interesting in the data being collected...

1/2 of 12 is 6
1/3 of 12 is 4
1/4 of 12 is 3

Then I would test out their conjectures on other amounts, like 6, 18, 24...
And I would only use unit fractions (those with numerators of 1). This would
be an exploration for my students, a way to begin thinking about fractional
parts of sets, rather than fractional parts of wholes.

 -Gail, for the T2T service

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