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Teaching fractions

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by googolplex, May 11, 2011.

  1. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Sadly, no. But remember, we have raised standards...
  2. What are the consequences of not teaching them and forcing them to do it in their own time?
    I refuse to teach my top set y11s plans and elevations and rotating a shape 180 degrees about the origin.
  3. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    That they simply don't do it in their own time and, as a result, get lower marks in the GCSE, a lower grade, and, because no learner is ever at fault, the teacher will be suitably rewarded (poor review, competency procedures, "supported" by senior staff observations and demands for detailed lesson plans, etc.)
    But surely you know this?

  4. I know there was a very long and somewhat heated thread a while ago, but hopefully problems like this will be less commonplace under the promised (or, depending on your standpoint, threatened) changes. A narrower but deeper curriculum before we get them in year 7 will hopefully improve ability with (amongst other things) fractions.
    It might also speed up lessons when you're waiting for a B grade year 11 pupil to work out 7 x 8 in their head (7 x 8 always gets them I find!?!?!) only for them to come out with something completely ridiculous, and probably an odd number to boot!!
  5. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    My 10 year old niece has been doing Kumon for 6 years. I know that this only covers certain aspects of Maths but her understanding of fractions is outstanding and her mental arithmetic is also impressive.
    Last weekend she was solving simultaneous equations with a mixture of decimals and fractions in. They didn't phase her at all. I put one of her questions up on the board for my Year 12s and they couldn't do it. One of my Year 11 top set got there eventually but we had just been doing a lesson on simultaneous equations. While very pleased for her I felt ashamed of the poor education that we are offering in schools.
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Yes - fractions are covered in primary but it's an incredibly abstract concept for many children. I teach primary and secondary children (as a private and 1-1 tutor). Some children no matter how many different ways you model and explain it still don't get it.
    And then those who do get it, give them the question such as:
    In a magazine, 1/4 of it is features, 2/5 is photos and the rest are adverts. What fraction is adverts? Well they look at you like you were talking a foreign language. They can do 1/4 add 2/5. They can do 1 - 13/20. Possibly. But in context like that?
    And as for dividing fractions in context!


  8. Then you dont ever gives these kids targets of A grades and live with the flack but back it up witha range of assessment o show they are not A grade standard kids yet you have moved them on. Strange mindset it may be but since the end of SATs and strict assessment too many inflated grades are given to kids who then believe they have the right to that grade as thats what their teachers says they should get so "I will get it...innit"
    I have a class full of them who have target grades based on false 'APP' and believe they will still get the grade they have been targetted despite not ever coming close in any formal assessment but thats what it says they will get. I sat them on an old 4-6 SATs paper half way through y11 and few got more than 40 out of 60 yet the school insist I still target them at A or above for their data. I have ample evidence they have never been close to this level.
    If they believe they deserve the grade then they have to be proactive and access me in their own time. I am on a limited number of hours to teach topics.
    Many will not like that approach which I understand.
  9. In the UK, it has been established that 7 out of 4 people are useful at fractions ......[​IMG]
  10. Practice makes perfect.
    At primary level there is insufficient time to give the practice that many need and, as it has been said, some just find the topic too abstract for them. Whether it was better in the past is a moot point.

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