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 Post subject: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:49 am

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 488
https://occupymath.wordpress.com/2016/0 ... fractions/

I am feeling really thick as was never taught to compare fractions by cross- multiplying.
This is brilliant and am going to teach this to DD's as soon as they wake up - it would have been so useful for all those ordering fractions questions on the 11+ !
Was anyone else taught this?

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:25 am

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
Sorry - what is good about their suggested method? Please don't teach this!

What makes them an authority on teaching fractions?

The way to compare fractions IS to make common denominators - that is the basis of understanding what a fraction is.

You cannot use their method if you have more than two fractions to compare ....

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:20 am

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:46 am
Posts: 188
I too thought the cross multiplication thing was very neat.

However, skip reading the document he was so much against, I thought it was quite good. I remember drawing lots of very similar things out for my daughter when teaching fractions. In my book, the more diagrams the better. A picture is so much more interesting for a child than writing and does help build their understanding if they can "see" why they are doing things. Lots of bright colours helps.

I find, as her understanding has built, the diagrams are not needed and so she would now simply be writing the sum out to find equivalents.

I still use diagrams on other things. For instance, in completing the square, I would draw out a square of length x+b, so she could see the b^2 bit she was taking away.

Famously even Richard Feynman was not adverse to drawing diagrams.

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:44 am

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
Anyone that has studied teaching and learning maths knows the problems cross multiplying can lead to - that's why it's never taught as a technique.

Understanding is the key to learning maths - fractions are a difficult concept and 'short-cuts' lead to error. There's been lots of research on teaching fractions ...

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:36 pm

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:43 am
Posts: 10
It will be much simpler for children to learn fundamentals of fractions using LCM of denominators approach that can be applied to add, subtract or compare 2 or more fractions, rather than a technique which can only be applied to compare only 2 fractions at a time.

You can teach them techniques or short cuts, once they have strong understanding of core concepts.

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:23 pm

Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1488
From the article quoted by OP:
Quote:
One of them said “You cannot teach kids to cross-multiply because then they will do it everywhere, like when they are trying to add fractions”. Occupy Math thinks this is very close to “You cannot teach people to use screwdrivers because they will try to use them to tighten bolts or stir coffee.”

Believe it or not, I did witness a window-fitter stirring his coffee with a screwdriver...

_________________
It felt like I hit rock bottom; suddenly, there was knocking from beneath... (anon.)

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:48 pm

Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 9:55 am
Posts: 27
booellesmum wrote:
https://occupymath.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/how-not-to-teach-fractions/

I am feeling really thick as was never taught to compare fractions by cross- multiplying.
This is brilliant and am going to teach this to DD's as soon as they wake up - it would have been so useful for all those ordering fractions questions on the 11+ !
Was anyone else taught this?

I completely agree that this is a brilliant method!

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:56 pm

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
olucares wrote:
I completely agree that this is a brilliant method!

It doesn't work for more than two fractions - please read the other posts about why it is not taught.

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:01 pm

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:11 pm
Posts: 173
Don't see what's wrong with simply identifying common denimators and the comparing numerators.

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 Post subject: Re: Article - "How not to teach fractions"Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:36 pm

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
The OP was suggesting cross-multiplying which is not a good method.

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