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Browsing by Author "Ylä-Rautio, Iida"

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  • Ylä-Rautio, Iida (2018)
    The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges related to learning fractions and ways of supporting the learning of fractions with concrete models. According to the previous studies, there are a number of misunderstandings associated with learning fractions. Many of these misunderstandings are due to the fact that the pupils don’t understand the concept of a fraction. This study presents the most common misunderstandings related to fractions in primary school. In addition, this study explores, based on previous studies, how it is possible to support the learning of the concept of a fraction with the help of concrete models. The study also presents different kind of models to improve the learning of fractions. Fractions are an area of mathematics that pupils find difficult and know rather poorly., That is why it is important to reflect on methods to teach them as efficiently as possible. This study is a descriptive survey of literature on the subject. I used Google Scholar as the search engine, and Eric and Helka as data banks. The volume of studies I found was so vast I had to restrict the subject. Restricting the scope of the study influenced the selection of the material, after which that the questions asked in this study took their final shape. In this study it became clear which misunderstandings are associated with learning fractions in primary school and after that. Most of the misunderstandings were due to the lack of understanding fractions. Misunderstandings were due, in particular, to poor understanding of the size and frequency of fractions and by a bias towards whole numbers. One reason to the lack of understanding was that the symbolic presentation of fractions is used too early. According to this study, pupils need internal representations of fractions, which can be constructed by using external, concrete models. In this study, different concrete models of teaching fractions were compared. According to previous studies, concrete models should be used in as many ways as possible, because they support the learning of different things. It turned out that the most effective model of supporting the understanding of the size and equivalence of fractions was the circle model. Other models, such as the dot-paper model and number line, can be effective for strengthening the knowledge of the procedures of fractions, when the size and equivalence are already understood. According to this study, the use of concrete models is important for the understanding of fractions. Fractions should, therefore, be drilled first a lot with concrete models, and only after that should the symbolic presentation of fractions be deployed.