Chapter 8 has to be one of my favorite chapters in the book because it involves fractions! The chapter is about making sense of fractions, decimals, and percents. While the majority of the chapter is about fractions, the authors do a great job of showing how number talks can be used to help students better understand decimal operations and the meaning of percents.
Because teaching students to understand fractions is near and dear to my heart and continues to be one of the most difficult concepts for students, I decided to focus my visual today on comparing fractions. So often, our go-to strategies for comparing fractions are cross multiplication, or the butterfly method, and common denominators. The visual below shows how students can compare fractions using their reasoning skills and not with an algorithm.
In addition, the authors go beyond the number talks above to include number talks for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. This chapter is an important read for teachers because it helps us develop a deeper understanding of how to work with and reason about fractions, an understanding that can in turn be used to better support our students’ understanding.
The chapter concludes with several examples involving decimal operations and percents, an important read for upper elementary and middle school teachers. Being able to reason about decimals, percents, fractions, and the connection between them will serve our students well in more advanced mathematics courses.
Note: In order to honor the authors’ work, I will only share my own personal experiences, thoughts, and reflections as related to the book’s content. If something really strikes me, I will share a quote from time to time with the appropriate citations.
Reference: Humphreys, C and Parker, R. (2016). Making Number Talks Matter. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers