About Fraction Misconceptions

Where do fraction misconceptions come from?

Part of the answer is worksheets and or limited experiences with creating fractions.

We have chosen the Usborne Lift-the-flap Fractions and Decimals book to share a section with you.

Most worksheets for fractions give a shape and ask that a quarter or other fraction be shade.

There is a lot wrong with this type of approach if:

  • the quarters are always shown in the same way,
  • no emphasis is given to counting to find out how many quarters are not shaded,
  • students are never exposed to lots of different ways of making quarters and justifying how they know that they are quarters,
  • students are never asked to visually construct the rest of the shape to identify the fractional part, as in:

With all of this in mind, we have selected this section of a page in the Lift the flap book.

This is quite a clever section because it does challenge the way in which fractions as equal parts is usually presented and leads to using two equivalent fractions to create a quarter and in the last example requires visualization to identify the missing part. When the flaps are lifted the diagrams reveal the proof that they are indeed each showing a missing quarter.

Imagine setting the students free to create their own lift the flap fractions with the proof shown diagrammatically underneath. We usually offer Post-it notes for this type of activity. The kids think they are really special.

If you are into fractions at the moment then check out our Fraction Mat. Stay well and safe.

We are keeping well and safe and are now thinking about how Natural Maths can promote anti-racism.