The recipe called for a 3/8 cup of oil to 2 cups of flour. But I only have 1 1/2 cups of flour. So that's 25% less flour; what's 3/4s of 3/8s?...Never mind, it’s not worth it!

Why are fractions so difficult? This applies of course to our students, but also many parents struggle with the concept or at least have to take a long pause to recall the rules. The concept of fractions and how it influences operations with both whole numbers and other fractions is more daunting than it needs to be, for two primary reasons:

#1 Naming Convention-the numerator and denominator have very different functions. Too many times students do not fully understand the nuances.

#2 Equivalence-this is a key foundational element in fractions. Students must have fluency with creating equivalents fractions in order to find success in calculating with them.

We will talk more about how to address these two elements during our monthly teacher event, “Workshop Wednesday.” This month our special guest will be Dr. Yeap Ban Har. Together, we will share ideas and work through examples that will help your students better embrace fractions.

And parents, we know this is a challenging area for you as well. Please mark your calendar for “[Math]odology Monday,” on February 22nd, and get the paper and scissors ready. During this session, parents will be invited to peel back the layers in understanding why we adhear to certain steps in solving fractions.

Last month we focused on better ways of assessing students. To continue building on that, consider how you will evaluate a student's understanding of fractions in meeting the necessary benchmark standards. If a student makes a common error as shown here 1/2 + 3/4 = 4/6, what can we conclude? What would our next steps be?

Join us as we peel away the misconceptions which cause students, teachers and parents to feel that fractions are more difficult than they need to be, February 22nd and 24th at 7:00 pm EST.