# Category Archives: Data Management & Statistics

## Critical Fraction Concepts for Understanding

Fractions are challenging for many people, children and adults alike.  Here are some of the critical understandings, or big ideas, for fractions.

1. A fraction has a numerator and a denominator.  The denominator tells how many equal parts the whole is divided into and the numerator tells how many parts there are.
2. Fractions can mean different things:  part of a set, part of a region, as a measure, division & as a ratio.

Here is a sample of Kaitlynn’s explanation of what she knows about fractions.  She has explained them very well and used several different models to demonstrate her understanding.

3.  A fraction is not meaningful without knowing what the whole is (if you only see the numerals when comparing fractions you assume the whole is the same).

For example, in class one day I asked the students if they would rather have half of a chocolate bar or one forth of a chocolate bar.  Most students said half but a few knew I was up to something.

The forth came from this chocolate bar:

and the half came from this one:

4.  If fractions have the same denominator, the one with the greater numerator is greater.  The denominator tells the total number of equal parts in the whole, and the numerator tells the number of parts accounted for:

4.  If fractions have the same numerator, the one with the greater denominator is less.  The denominator tells the total number of equal parts that the whole is divided into, and the numerator tells the number of parts accounted for.  The larger the denominator, the smaller the parts are:

Here is Kally’s explanation of this principle:

6.  There are proper fractions, improper fractions or mixed numbers.  The numerator is larger than the denominator in improper fractions.  The mixed number has a whole number and a fraction.  See below.

7.  Fraction can have different names, these are called equivalent fractions:

These are the big ideas we have investigated so far.  There is more to come, stay posted.

## Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day in the US.  We watched a short biography of him and then part of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  We will be applying our reading strategy asking questions to a print version of his speech on Thurday.

Many students remembered when we talked about Rosa Parks.

Today in math we had our Data Management test.

## Math Test on Tuesday

We will have a math test on Tuesday to wrap up our Data Management unit.  All the students have a review package which we started today.  We will take up the review package on Monday and the class will have the opportunity to ask questions and clarify ideas.  The review package is mandatory homework.

Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Data Management & Statistics, Math