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The origin of continued fractions is traditionally placed at the time of the creation of Euclid's Algorithm .Euclid's Algorithm, however, is used to find the greatest common denominator (gcd) of two numbers. However, by algebraically manipulating the algorithm, one can derive the simple continued fraction of the rational p/q as opposed to the gcd of p and q. It is doubtful whether Euclid or his predecessors actually used this algorithm in such a manner. But due to its close relationship to continued fraction, the creation of Euclid's Algorithm signifies the initial development of continued fractions(Old, 1963). For more than a thousand years, any work that used continued fractions was restricted to specific examples. The Indian mathematician Aryabhata (d. 550 AD) used a continued fraction to solve a linear indeterminate equation. Rather than generalizing this method, his use of continued fractions is used solely in specific examples (Old, 1963). The nineteenth century can probably be described as the golden age of continued fractions. As Claude Brezinski (1980) writes in History of Continued Fractions and Padre Approximations, "the nineteenth century can be said to be popular period for continued fractions." It was a time in which "the subject was known to every mathematician." As a result, there was an explosion of growth within this field. Since the beginning of the 20th century continued fractions have made their appearances in other fields. Continued fractions have also been utilized within computer algorithms for computing rational approximations to real numbers, as well as solving indeterminate equations. This brief sketch into the past of continued fractions is intended to provide an overview of the development of this field. Though its initial development seems to have to taken a long time, once started, the field and its analysis grew rapidly. Even today, the fact that continued fractions are still being used signify that the field is still far from being exhausted (Brezinski, 1980). The Concept of fraction A common fraction (fraction) is often described as the ratio or quotient of two whole numbers, a and b, expressed in symbolic form a/b, where b is not zero (BOS NSW, 2002). It is a symbol that has meaning and can be interpreted and manipulated.There are various meanings of "fraction" that affect its teaching and everyday applications. First, a fraction represents a part of the whole, such as 2/3 of an apple, 1/5 of a potato field, 3/4 of a glass of milk, and so on. 2/3 of an apple means two parts of an apple

that has been equally divided into three parts. A unit fraction is one part of a whole that has been divided into equal parts. Dividing a whole into parts and taking some of the parts is called making a fraction. Second, a fraction represents a measure of a quantity, such as 3/4 m or 2/3 L. This is called a fraction of a quantity. In this sense, 3/4 or 2/3 is considered as a number. Third, a fraction is used to compare objects or quantities. For example, to say that Ahmad drinks three-quarters as much milk as Ali means that the amount of milk Ali drinks is considered as the base and the amount of milk Ahmad drinks is threequarters of that amount. This represents 3 of the basic quantity 4, or 3/4, and the concept of a ratio. This is called a ratio fraction. This meaning of fraction is used to explain the concept of multiplication and division of fractions. Fourth, a fraction is used for the quotient in division; for example, 1 divided by 2 = 1/2 and 4 divided by 3 = 4/3. That 2/3 is considered as the quotient of 2 divided by 3 is the fraction of a number. This is important when a fraction is considered as a rational number.

Strengths and Weaknesses Everyday concepts and mathematical concepts Vygotsky (1982) thought that teaching concepts consist of two types, i.e. everyday concepts and scientific concepts, and pointed out that the greatest difference between these two is whether they are based on a system. According to Vygotsky (1982), everyday concepts are not based on a system; rather they are based in rich daily contexts and, therefore, might be used incorrectly by children. For instance, in series of one-on-one interviews with second graders in Japan, when asked the meaning of a word half, a child described that half meant to share something equally among three people. This thought was derived from her daily experience of sharing sweets with the other two brothers. For her, therefore, halving always meant dividing something equally among three based on the meaningful daily contexts at home. On the other hand, scientific concepts are defined according to a system that has developed in human history, and therefore they lack concrete contexts (Vygotsky, 1982).

Everyday concepts are concepts that originate from childrens daily lives through communication with their family, friends, or community; and thus are closely connected to concrete personal contexts. Children express them through their own words and use them in their ways of thinking without conscious awareness. As a result, everyday concepts are not systems; rather they are based on the subjectivity(Vygotsky, 1982). Mathematical concepts are scientific concepts that are connected to mathematics. They are based on a system, and therefore they have logic and objectivity. They are expressed in a mathematical language and introduced to children in a formal, highly organized education. Mathematical concepts make children to develop mathematical thinking and to require conscious awareness and voluntary behavior for concepts. The development of mathematical concepts as childrens psychological developments, however, depends on their everyday concepts (Zack, 1999).

Everyday Concepts A partition fraction, 1/4, expresses the action of dividing an object into four. A unit-whole of fraction always corresponds with the whole implicitly.

Mathematical Concepts The unit-whole for 1/4 is always 1 or the whole, and for 1/4 m it is 1 m. The quantity of 1/4 changes depending on

Sublated Concepts The length of 1/4 of 1 m 33 cm tape is always 33 cm, and in this context, the unit-whole is explicitly 1 m 33 cm or the blue tape stacked on the board. When the whole of the blue tape is a unit-whole,

the quantity of the unitwhole. Fractions must be less than Fractions can express 1 because fractions express quantity, number etc.,

actions of dividing or the result of the actions. 1/4 of a whole is only way to express the remainder of the blue tape.

and therefore are not necessarily less than 1. A unit-whole does not always correspond to a whole of an object.

the remainder is expressed as 1/4 of the whole; when 1 m is a unit-whole, it is also expressed as 1/3 m, and therefore the whole is 4/3 m

Table 1: Everyday, mathematical, and sublated concepts

The concept of equivalent fraction Equivalent fractions are fractions that may look different, but are equal to each other. Two equivalent fractions may have a different numerator and a different denominator. (A fraction is also equivalent to itself. In this case, the numerator and denominator would be the same.)

Example: Fold a piece of paper in half: We now have 2 equal regions:

The shaded part represents 1/2 of the paper. Fold again, the same way.We now have four equal regions:

the shaded part remains the same, but now represents 2/4 of the paper. Both representations are the same part of thewhole paper.

Strength and Weakneses: Students conceptual understanding of equivalent fractions was examined through their responses to mathematical problems that required them to make connections between equivalent pictorial and symbolic representations incorporating measure and part/whole area interpretations by Monica & David (2009). Students demonstrated the use of procedural knowledge when answering equivalentfraction problems presented in symbolic form. In some instances, whole number reasoning was exhibited in the procedures they used. Many students were unable to represent a symbolic fraction using an equivalent area diagram. Students who successfully linked symbolic and pictorial part/whole area interpretations for one whole and three quarters showed their knowledge was more generalised and were more able to apply their understanding to pictorial representations using a number-line (measure interpretation) (Monica & David, 2009).

However, the difference between the students in the limited and the high general mathematics achievement groups seems to lie not in the errors they made as similar types of errors were observed. Rather, the depth of their procedural and declarative knowledge and the strength of their connections between procedures and concepts varied as shown in the percentage of questions answered correctly and the types of questions answered correctly (Monica & David, 2009). Conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge are delicately intertwined. Researchers findings of Siemon, Izard, Breed, and Virgona (2006) who demonstrated that students with developing fraction knowledge were able to perform simple fraction tasks, but were unable to explain or justify their thinking in writing. Proposed alternative approach Using fraction strips to demonstrate equivalent fractions Number lines can be used to illustrate that equivalent fractions describe the same magnitude. For example, asking students to locate 2/5 and 4/10 on a single number line can help them understand the equivalence of these numbers. Teachers can mark fifths above the line and tenths below it (or vice versa) to help students with this task. Although viewing equivalent fractions as the same point on a number line can be challenging for students,68 the panel believes that the ability to do so is critical for thorough understanding of fractions. A discussion of equivalent fractions should build on points made in Step 1 about fractions on the number line. For example, teachers can divide a 0-to-1 number line into halves and quarters and show that 1/2 and 2/4 occupy the same, or equivalent, point on the number line (see Figure 4). Students can use a ruler to identify equivalent fractions on the stacked number lines shown in Figure 4, identifying fractions that occupy the same location on each number line. Fraction strips also can be used to reinforce the concept of equivalent fractions by allowing students to measure the distance between two points using different-sized fraction strips (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Using fraction strips to demonstrate equivalent fractions Students need a broad view of fractions as numbers. That includes understanding that fractions can be represented as decimals and percents as well as common fractions. Teachers should clearly convey that common fractions, decimals, and percents are just different ways of representing the same number. Number lines provide a useful tool for helping students understand that fractions, decimals, and percents are different ways of describing the same number. By using a number line with common fractions listed above it and decimals or percentages below it, teachers can help students locate and compare fractions, decimals, and percents on the same number line. See figure 2.

Figure 2. Finding equivalent fractions on a number line

Lesson Plan 1

Objektif: Students will:


demonstrate understanding that a fraction can be represented as part of a linear region describe part of a linear region using fractions demonstrate understanding of fraction relationships by representing fractions in a variety of ways

Materials 1. 18 24 sheets of construction paper in six different colors (cut into three 6 24 strips; each child will need six strips, one of each color) 2. Scissors Instruction 1. To assess prior knowledge, ask students to create a list of ways they use fractions in their daily lives. Engage them in a discussion of nonstandard ways they use fractions daily. Some simple examples include dividing a treat in half (1/2) to share it with a friend, or noticing that your brother ate 3/8 of a pizza last night at dinner. 2. Some students may suggest that they fold or use a ruler to measure lengths to determine fractional parts. If students suggest such strategies, you might use this as an introduction to the lesson using fraction strips. 3. To begin the lesson, give students six strips of paper in six different colors. Specify one color and have students hold up the strip of this color. Tell students that this strip will represent the whole. Have students write "one whole" on the fraction strip. The term whole is included in the labeling instead of 1 because it eliminates confusion between the numeral 1 in fractions such as 1/2.

4. Next, ask students to pick a second strip, fold it, and cut it into two equal pieces. (Note that students may prefer to highlight the fold marks, rather than physically cutting the individual fraction pieces.) Ask them what they think each of these strips should be called ["one-half" or 1/2]. Have students label their strips accordingly using both the word and the fractional representation. 5. Have students take out another strip, fold it twice, and divide it into four congruent pieces. Ask them what they think each of these strips should be called ["one-fourth" or 1/4]. Have students label their strips using both the word and the fractional representation. Repeat this process of folding, cutting, and naming strips for eighths, thirds, and sixths. 6. Have students take out their "whole" and ask, "Which strip is 1/2 of the whole?" Then ask, "Which strip is 1/4 of the whole?" Ask similar questions about 1/8, 1/3, and 1/6. Students should experiment with the strips until they are consistently arriving at the correct answer. 7. Have students work in pairs to line up their fraction strips and find as many relationships as they can. For instance, they might notice that three of the 1/6 pieces are equal to four of the 1/2 pieces, or that two of the 1/3 pieces are equal to four of the 1/6 pieces. Have students record these relationships on paper. When they have finished, have them share the relationships they discovered. Record relationships on chart paper and discuss.

Lesson Plan 2 Objective Students will:

demonstrate understanding that a fraction can be represented as part of a linear region

describe part of a linear region using fractions identify fraction relationships using different "wholes" as a reference identify equivalent fractions identify the fraction in lowest terms

Materials 1. One set of relationship rods per student (may be purchased commercially or made by printing the Relationship Rods in color). 2. Investigating Equivalent Fractions Activity Sheet Instruction 1. To begin the lesson, give students one set of relationship rods (lego) 2. Design one of the rods/colors as the whole and finding the value of all the rods when this color is the whole. For example, if brown equals one, what value would you assign to all the other rods? Discuss student responses as a class. 3. Demonstrate the correct answer by lining up the two relationship rods being compared on an overhead projector. 4. When comparing the lengths for demonstration purposes, the smaller length should be duplicated to simulate the length of the longer rod. 5. For example, when comparing red to brown, where brown is one, four red relationship rods should be used to directly compare to one brown. Students can easily see that it takes four reds to make one brown; therefore, if brown = 1, then red = 1/4.

6. Challenge students to determine the value of the rods when two rods are used to make a new rod. For example, orange and yellow might be combined to make orange/yellow.

7. Student will finish all the activities in Activity Sheet below

Activity Sheet Use your relationship rods to answer the following questions. 1. What colors can be lined up end-to-end to create the same length as the brown rod? For example, eight white rods can be lined up to create the same length as one brown rod. 2. Name as many fraction relationships as possible, with brown as the whole. For example: 2/8 (2 white rods) is the same as 1/4 (1 red rod). 3. When comparing equivalent fractions, the group with the smallest number of rods represents the fraction in lowest terms. Identify the fraction that is in lowest terms from each of the equivalent groups mentioned above. For example, when comparing 2/8 and 1/4, 1/4 uses fewer rods, and is, therefore, in lowest terms. 4. What colors can be lined up end-to-end to create the same length as the orange rod? Name as many fraction relationships as possible. What fractions are in lowest terms? 5. What colors can be lined up end-to-end to create the same length as the blue rod? Name as many fraction relationships as possible. Which fractions are in lowest terms? 6. What colors can be lined up end-to-end to create the same length as the dark green rod? Name as many fraction relationships as possible. Which fractions are in lowest terms? 8. Discuss Summary It is a symbol that has meaning and can be interpreted and manipulated.There are various meanings of "fraction" that affect its teaching and everyday applications. A common fraction (fraction) is often described as the ratio or quotient of two whole numbers, a and b, expressed in symbolic form a/b, where b is not zero. Teaching concepts consist of two types Everyday concepts and mathematical concepts . Everyday concepts are concepts that originate from childrens daily liv es. Mathematical concepts are scientific concepts that are connected to mathematics. Everyday concepts are not systems; rather they are based on the subjectivity.

Conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge are delicately intertwined. Researchers findings of Siemon, Izard, Breed, and Virgona (2006) who demonstrated that students with developing fraction knowledge were able to perform simple fraction tasks, but were unable to explain or justify their thinking in writing. Students need a broad view of fractions as numbers. That includes understanding that fractions can be represented as decimals and percents as well as common fractions.

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Reference: Board of Studies NSW. (2002). Mathematics K-6 syllabus. Sydney: Author Siemon, D., Izard, J., Breed, M., & Virgona, J. (2006). The derivation of a learning assessment framework for multiplicative thinking. In J. Norotna, H. Moraova, M. Kratka, & N. Stehlikova (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30thannual conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 5, pp.113120). Prague: PME. Monica Wong & David Evans, 2009, Mathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice,Volume 2 Zack, V. (1999). Everyday and mathematical language in childrens argumentation about proof. Educational Review, 51(2), 129-146. Olds, C.D., 1963.Continued Fractions. Random House: New York,. Brezinski, Claude,1980. History of Continued Fractions and Pade Approximants. Springer-Verlag: New York Vygotskij, L. S., (1982c). Development of everyday and academic concepts in the school age. About the child's psychological development: A collection of articles (pp. 125-149). Copenhagen