Fractions as Numbers: Unifying Representations and Interpretations

Presented by: Drew Corley, PhD, Senior Learning Scientist for Amplify Education; with Lauren Whitley, Curriculum Developer for Amplify Education
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Multiple interpretations of fractions are introduced explicitly and implicitly throughout grades 3 to 6: part-whole, measurement, ratio, quotient, and operator. Accompanying those are several representations and models: discrete sets, area, length, and number line. Perhaps underlying all of those is the notion that fractions are simply numbers.

In this edWebinar, Dr. Drew Corley and Lauren Whitley explored questions about student learning and teaching practices for fractions, including:

  • Is there only one representation suitable for each interpretation?
  • Are some representations necessarily better for certain interpretations?
  • Does the order in which they are introduced matter?
  • How could prior knowledge both support and interfere with new concepts?
  • What does all this mean for operations and procedural fluency?

Dr. Corley and Lauren presented rich tasks that highlight the core mathematical concepts behind various interpretations of fractions and models to support them—transitioning from equipartitioning to area and length models to the number line, and then to division and operator. They also explored misconceptions, alternative strategies, and moments for connecting ideas via student-led discourse. Learn ways in which individual student understanding can be leveraged across interpretations and representations to adapt and personalize instruction.

Special Invitation: All edWebinar participants are invited to try Amplify Fractions for free through the end of the year. Amplify Fractions is a digital math program where adaptive learning meets interactive storytelling to help students master and gain a deep understanding of fractions. Your free trial also allows you to set up your students to access the program. Sign up for your free trial now! Access runs through December 31, 2017. (This offer is available to anyone who pre-registers, attends live, or watches the recording.)