This is an overall guide to some of the complexities in teaching and learning fractions, including possible misconceptions. The document also includes some suggestions for activities.
Please note, this publication was written for teachers of adult learners – lots of useful information and ideas though you will want to adapt activities.
- Fractions: difficult but crucial in mathematics learning Nunes, T. (2006) Teaching and learning research briefing, no, 13, London, The Institute of Education
This article addresses some of children’s basic ideas about fractions.
- Teaching Fractions; Education Practices series Vol:22: 2011 Fazio, L. and Siegler, R. (2011) Education Practices series; Vol:22: 2011
This research guide focuses on students’ difficulties with fractions and provides suggestions for teachers to improve fractions instruction in their own classrooms. The guide is broken up under clear subheadings that address different aspects of why fractions are difficult to teach.
This tool is an interactive, web based diagnostic tool to support teachers in dealing with children’s gaps and misconceptions in maths. It includes guidance papers on what makes these areas tricky to teach, and examples of probing questions to support diagnosis of specific misconceptions or gaps. Additionally, it is linked to a detailed list of models and images to support the development of children’s understanding of fractions.
This concept map from a New Zealand teaching website organises and explains the different aspects of teaching fractions in a clear, visual way. It also provides definitions for vocabulary encountered when teaching fractions. There are links to some useful activities and games, although many are locked to those outside New Zealand.
An introductory guide to using the Singapore bar model, with ideas on how it can be used to support problem solving in maths, including fractions.
- Early Fraction Development by Bernard Bagnall, NRich
A useful article in which Bernard Bagnall outlines tasks which will help young children develop the concept of fractions. It could be a good starting point for assessing pupils and has many activities involving the folding of paper.