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**A report based on a longitudinal study
**

Jayasree Subramanian Eklavya Hoshangabad

Subconstructs of Fraction

• ‘Fraction, ratio, proportion’ remains one of the most difficult area in school mathematics. • There have been suggestion both in India and abroad that fractions be dropped from the primary school curriculum. • However with Thomas Kieran’s work the notion of subconstruct of fraction and the need to bring in multiple subconstructs in designing curriculum has become clear.

Part whole

• ‘whole’ is divided into equal sized ‘parts’; denominator counts the total number of parts and numerator counts the number of parts under consideration. Fraction is less than 1

3/5

3/5

• This is often the most commonly used subconstruct to introduce fractions and also accounts for several difficulties- 3/2 or 3/5? • How to represent 5/2? • 2/3+3/4=5/7

• Unit and sub-units of measurement. 1/n denotes the size of the subunit and m/n is m pieces of size 1/n. Numerator can exceed the denominator. • 1 • 1/2 • 1/3 • 1/4 • 1+1/4 or 5/4 • Particularly useful for introducing addition and subtraction

Measure

Quotient

• equal share - numerator denotes the dividend and denominator the divisor

6/2= 6!2

!= 3!4

The work of Streefland and Nunes et al suggest that introducing fractions as share appeals to experiences, intuitive notions that children already bring to the classroom.

**Operator and Ratio
**

Operator: Fraction operators as a function2/3 rd of something 1 ! of something 1/5 th of ". Operator interpretation of fraction is useful for introducing multiplication Ratio: 3 spoons of sugar for every 4 cups of tea Distance travelled and time taken Equivalence of fraction for example can be best explained by this subconstruct

**Complexity and Learning Trajectories
**

Rational Number Reasoning is complex, and Yields to a Learning Trajectories strand analysis. • Permits us to respect complexity yet disentangle it; • Permits us to build from the cognitive resources children • bring to school from informal settings; • Recognizes that the “logical structure of mathematics” • and cognitive development in mathematics are not • identical; and • Permits us to view expertise as refinement of approach • over time.

Confrey-Learning Trajectories

**Our initial attempts
**

• After initial attempts to introduce fractions without appealing to subconstructs we realized that we need to fix the meaning of the fraction symbol m/n and we began by using the measure meaning and area model- rectangles • This demanded precision in pictorial depictions – hard for both teachers and children

**Combining share and measure
**

• In collaboration with HBCSE we developed an alternative that introduced fractions as share and later brought in the measure meaning • Short trials in 4 different locations • children in grade 5 and 6 • Comparison, equivalence and addition • Trials were successful • Can we begin from grade 3?

Longitudinal study

• Raipur girl’s primary school- Hoshangabad • Govt school, first gen learners, OBC, SC/ST, agricultural work

Grade 3

• fraction as division and distribution • 12/3 was introduced as sharing 12 things equally among 3 girls- divide, distribute and say how much each one got • Often 12 rotis and 3 girls • children worked initially with material then moved on to pictures, write the share • 5/2 was encountered- what to do with 1 extra? • How to write the share? Introduce the symbol 1/2

Grade 3

• Fraction symbol m/n represented the share situation ‘m rotis, n girls’ equal share • draw pictures • Name pieces – 1/3, " etc • write share, use = and + sign • #= "+1/4+1/4 or #= ! +1/4; • 7/3=2+1/3 • Were not sure if "+1/4+1/4= ! +1/4 • Could compare a few unit fractions

Examples of children’s work

Grade 4

• Used Jodogyan kit extensively • Introduced measurement activities- designed a scale and subunits so that children had unit fractions from1/2 to 1/10 along with the unit scale • They learnt how to figure out the name the subscale• Used it to measure and widea of iterationrite the length

Grade 5

• Consolidate share and measure meanings • Learn to write a given fraction in many different ways • 5+3/4=11 times 1/2+1/4 • =3+2+12/16 • = 5 times 1+6/8 • Learn to represent fractions on the number line • Equivalence • Comparison • Some addition

Comparison tasks

Nature of the task S.N 1 2 3 4 5 6 Comparing unit fractions Eg 1/11 and 1/7 Comparing improper fractions (k+1/n , k+1/m) Eg: 10/3 and 13/4 Comparing mixed fractions of the form Eg: 3+1/6 and 4+1/9 Compare with ! Eg 5/7 and ! m/n>1/2>p/q Eg: 7/13 and 2/7 m/n and (m+l)/(n-r) Eg: 3/8 and 4/7 or 4/9 and 1/2 No. correct resp out of 35 34 (97.14%) 29 (82.86%)

12 (34.29%)

22 (62.26%) 12 (34.28%) 24.5 (70%)

Nature of errors

• larger denominator means more girls to share with and hence smaller share. • Many of the errors are due to focusing only on the denominator- i.e the size of the pieces without paying attention to the number of pieces • 3/8= 1/8+1/8+1/8 and 4/7=1/2+1/14 more pieces in 3/8 so it is bigger

Addition tasks

S.N 1 2 3 4 5 Nature of the task Unit fractions of the same denomination Eg: 1/7+1/7 Non Unit fractions with same denominator Eg 2/7+3/7 Unit fractions with different denominators Any two fractions Eg:2/3+3/4 Mixed fractions of the form k+1/n and l+1/n Eg: 2+1/5 and 3+1/5 No. correct resp out of 35 20 (57.14%) 19(54.28%) 12 (34.28%) 12 (34.28%) 7 (20.71%)

• Fewer N- distracter errors if for same denominators. O/w add numerators, add denominators. • Use of recently learnt algorithm; one girl used equivalence

Subtraction tasks

S.N 1 2 3 4 Nature of task Same denominator Eg: 9/11 – 5/11 Integer – mixed fraction Eg 5- 2 ! !- unit fraction Eg: !- 1/3 Any smaller fractions from a larger fraction Eg: 5/6 -1/3 No. correct resp out of 35 9 (27.14%) 6 (16.42%) 3 (8.57%) 1 (2.86%)

• Subtraction was not taught by us .

Chhaya

7 7

More girls , so less share

7

4

3

Poonam Rambarose

Preeti Kamalkishore

Ankita

Clearly More than 1/2

"<1/2 1/8<1/7

Anjali Omprakash

Nikita

Anjali Vinod

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