Opportunities for Redefining Unconventional Units

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  • 1 George Fox University in Oregon
  • 2 Teacher of K-8 science lab and STEM classes in Oregon

This article highlights the importance of re-defining units unconventionally with fractions. We provide three examples of tasks Grade 5 students engaged in; we highlight the creative ways that they flexibly re-defined units and engaged deeply with fractions. We offer suggestions for supporting unconventional units for promoting conceptual understanding of fractions.

Footnotes

The authors describe the ways children redefined units with fractions for various tasks, including area and discrete models.

Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12
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  • Huinker, De Ann, and Victoria Bill. 2017. Taking Action: Implementing Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices in K–Grade 5. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

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  • Petit, Marjorie M., Robert E. Laird, Edwin L. Marsden, and Caroline B. Ebby. 2016. A Focus on Fractions: Bringing Research to the Classroom. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.

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  • Zhang, Xiaofen, MacKenzie Clements, and Nerida Ellerton. 2015. “Engaging Students with Multiple Models of Fractions.” Teaching Children Mathematics 22, no. 3 (October): 13847.

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