Monday, January 19, 2009

My Fraction is Nothing Compared to Your Fraction!

Comparing fractions has become pretty sophisticated by the 5th grade. Not long ago, this student was probably asked by a teacher in an earlier grade to compare two fractions. Like most kids, this student probably made an attempt to draw out the comparison. In prior drawings, there may not have been any real expectation of having equal size pieces (like really equal), or even any expectation that the wholes shown be the same size.
Now, this student uses two traced circles (same sized wholes) and really demonstrates how to create accurate models by using a clock for guidance. 2/3 becomes 8/12, and 2/5 becomes 24/60. That's pretty sweet, and it insures equally sized pieces :-}
The decimal notation is another big step up too, and so is the mentioning of what would be half in each denominator (1/2 in thirds is 1 1/2 , but in fifths it's 2 1/2).