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KS2 Numeracy - Understanding Fractions

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Summary

Many children have problems with visualising fractions abstractly. Janvrin School in Jersey has adopted a consistent approach to teaching this concept. In this programme, a new teacher is shown how to use the technique.

New teacher Patrick is being mentored into the scheme. We eavesdrop and see how to introduce the concept of fractions using paper cups to concretely represent halves and quarters. Moving the cups between two places - a resources table and a maths table - makes addition and subtraction clear.

We then see how the movement of cups is substituted for moving cards that represent the fractions.

Patrick asks the type of questions typical to novices when they see the scheme as demonstrated in the programme Just A Fraction.

  • Fractions are initially represented as concrete objects using cups
  • The cups are replaced by number cards, easing pupils into thinking abstractly
  • Staff training in this technique must be carefully monitored
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