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Yvonne Pothier and Daiyo Sawada

The study sought to trace the emergence and differentiation of partitioning as a process that leads young children to construct ideas of rational numbers. The method involved clinical sessions with children as they manipulated materials while solving tasks designed to reveal partitioning processes. The data analysis led to a theory concerning the emergence of partitioning capability, and conceptual structures that undergird the capability were identified. A five-level theory of the development of the partitioning process is presented.

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Yvonne Pothier and Daiyo Sawada

Recent research reports show that students have difficulty solving fraction problems when using physical models or diagrams whether the units are sets of objects (Hunting 1983) or regions (Kieren, Nelson, and Smith 1985). These reports show that students are not familiar with fraction models, a finding that suggests that they do not have sufficient experience with nonsymbolic work in fractions. Competence in representing fractions concretely or pictorially would facilitate solving fraction problems and could serve to verify computations with symbolic fractions.

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Yvonne M. Pothier and Christine M. Nickerson

During January, the local Heritage Association was planning and promoting various projects to celebrate Heritage Day in February. Mrs. Nickerson's fifth-grade classroom was beginning a unit on data management, to be assisted by Ms. Pothier, a university mathematics educator, for three mathematics classes a week.