Monday, August 29, 2011


A few colleagues and I realise that our pupils have difficulty comparing fractions such as 2-sixths and 2-tenths. We provided alot of visuals such as fraction chart but the pupils are still confused. In My Pals Are Here! Primary 2, pupils are required to compare fractions such as 2 sixths, 4 sixths vs 2-sixths and 2-tenths.

They are confused between the concepts. Some can compare 2 sixths ad 4 sixths very well but not being able to compare 2-sixths and 2-tenths.

While others confuse the 2 methods involving the two tasks and end up with 2 sixths is bigger than 4 sixths while 2-sixths is smaller than 2-tenths.

How can I help our pupils overcome it?

Teacher in Singapore

If students are making mistakes such as 2 sixths is larger than 4 sixths then they are not making connections to visual representations. You should always use visual representations in early stages of learning fractions.

Early instructions in fractions is critical. Students should be well taught throughthe use of manipulatives and visuals that when 1 is divided into equal parts, the parts are named according to the number of parts. When 1 is divided into six equal parts the parts are each called a sixth, for example.

This allows them to reason the relative sizes of say 1 tenth and 1 sixth.

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