Math Help Fractions – Where to Begin Helping with Fractions
Fractions should be a key building block in a students mathematical foundation. It is an area of math that they will use in their daily lives as adults. It can sometimes be overlooked as a principle concept to understand, but if a child is struggling with fractions it can disrupt their continuing studies is math. When teaching fractions to 9th grade students it shouldn’t be assumed that everyone in the class has retained all of the information that they learned during their elementary education. It is advisable anytime a new subject is going to be learned or expanded upon that a brief overview of the basics is gone over in order to refresh their memories. With proper review of fractions many struggles and frustrations can be avoided.
Fractions can be difficult because the student has to change the way he or she looks at numbers. With most other equations they are dealing with the numbers being whole numbers, rather then the whole being “fractioned” into different parts. An illustration of this is if you had two children each holding slices from an apple. Child one is holding 3 slices and child two is holding 5 slices. Automatically the student will view the apple in it’s slices and think only of child 2 having more apples then child one, rather then seeing the apple slices as making a whole. Being able to help a child grasp onto the concept of each whole being made up of several parts and then solving mathematical equations using those parts will aid them as they begin to study fractions at a higher level.
All people have differing learning styles but it is fairly universal that using visual aids can help when learning about new things. Presenting fractions as story problems, while also having the problem written out and even having physical objects present that can represent the problem are all ways to help them understand fractions. Another key component is vocabulary. Make sure that the student remembers all of the proper terms to the parts of the fraction. Remembering terms like numerator and denominator and which numbers they represent go long way in understanding the different steps in working with fractions.
In the 9th grade students will begin to learn how to use fractions in algebraic equations. Many students find working with algebra to be intimidating, but with good illustration and instruction the concept can be grasped even by a struggling student. Helping with fractions can be as simple as going over some steps that the student may be missing, or may have forgotten. Some students can become frustrated when they forget a step in solving the equation, such as checking to see if they have properly simplified the problem. Simplifying fractions is a key step in solving them, especially when it comes to algebraic equations.
In conclusion the outline for beginning to help with fractions is :
- Visualize aid
- Go over vocabulary
- Reinforce steps in the equation
And perhaps the most important part of helping with fractions is exercising patience, using encouragement and not allowing the student to give up. A discouraged student will most likely spend the rest of their lives believing they can’t do it. Good tutoring in math can instill a deep sense of academic satisfaction giving them the confidence to continue learning.