Focus on Fractions

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Online Book Study Winter 2015

A Focus on Fractions: Bringing Research to the Classroom

By Marjorie Petit, Robert Laird, Edwin Marsden and Caroline Ebby

Fractions Book CoverFractions are often considered to be one of the most difficult concepts to learn. In addition, inadequate understanding can impede further progress in mathematics. A Focus on Fractions, which is based on cognitive research, offers an in-depth look into how students develop concepts of fractions, and reveals the common misconceptions or procedures that can interfere with establishing conceptual understanding. This practical resource includes annotated student work, vignettes from classrooms, as well as several visual illustrations to support explanations.

The big ideas and models discussed in the book reveal that spatial reasoning plays a significant role in learning fractions. For example, students can use concrete models to create and manipulate visual images in order to make meaning. By ‘spatializing’ fractions, students can more conceptually understand related concepts. 

Throughout the 3 online sessions, participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Co-learn about how students develop an understanding of fractions, the common errors and misconceptions that are made, as well as effective instructional strategies that can be used in the classroom;
  • Investigate the critical role that spatial reasoning plays in learning fractions and how it can be integrated into instruction to enhance understanding;
  • Explore and experiment with various models and digital learning tools that can support students’ learning of fractions.

Session Dates: 
Wednesday February 10, February 24 and March 2, 2016.

All sessions will be online through video conferencing from 4:00-5:15 pm with connection starting at 3:45 pm. Connection information will be sent out the week before each session. 

If you are a Learning Connection District Champion and would like to participate, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..