Numerical Development: from whole numbers to fractions

byIrina Alekseeva

While teaching my Geometry, Pre-Calculus and AP Calculus students, I have realized that using fraction notation as well as comparing, adding, subtracting, and dividing fractions is usually a big problem for them. As a result, they struggle to identify parallel and perpendicular lines and slopes in the equations of linear functions; they have difficulties with topics such as similarity, dilation, transformation of geometric figures, and other mathematical concepts. Later, in upper-level Math they struggle with trigonometry, derivatives (aka slopes), definite integrals and their applications to name just a few. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The lack of their knowledge of fractions leads to their failure in other Math- related fields, such as Physics, Biology and Chemistry. During their high school career, many students will have to take a standardized test like the SAT and/or an AP exam. Half of the Math portion of these tests is non-calculator. Our job is to get them ready; soon-to-become young adults need fractions in their local grocery store calculating seasonal discounts!  This curricular unit will help teachers build students` competence in computation of expression with fractions, solving equations and word problems that require students to compare, add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions. 

Recommended for Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, PreCalculus and AP Calculus students.

(Developed for Math Analysis, grade 11; AP Calculus, grade 12; and Geometry, grade 9; recommended for Mathematics, grades 3-7; Algebra I, grades 8-9; and Geometry, grades 8-9)

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