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Fraction notation in algebra 1

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From: ---
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Jul 08, 2008 at 21:08:04
Subject: Fraction notation in algebra 1

My question is about teaching Algebra 1 students proper notation for writing fractions. I (and several of my colleagues in high school) believe that it is important to teach students to use a horizontal bar to represent fractions rather than a slash. A slash can be mis-read as 1 and using a slash does not prepare students for working with numerators and denominators that are polynomials. Our concern is that some Algebra 1 teachers in our middle school require students to use the slash and deduct points if students don't use a slash. We have to re-teach these students to use a horizontal bar when they enter high school. We understand why we teach using a horizontal bar, but we can't find a formal written "rule" to justify our "opinion." Can you offer a formal justification for using a horizontal bar? Thanks much!

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