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Q&A #19681


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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