Importance Of Using Visual Representations Such As Area, Length And Set Models

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Van De Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams (2013) describe the importance of using visual representations such as Area, length and Set models to consolidate fractional concepts. Observations of students representing fractions through the use of the three models allows teachers to gauge if learners have a real understanding of the fraction concepts. Area models represent fractions as part of an area. Circular or rectangular pieces, grids or dot paper, pattern blocks, geoboards and paper folding are examples of this type of model (Van De Walle, Karp & Bay-Williams 2013, p. 293). Length or number line models permit for the comparison of lengths or measurements instead of areas by either drawing and subdividing them or through the comparison of…show more content…
Learners may also have difficulty in understanding that a fraction of a group can be found when more than one object is represented, two fractions can be equivalent even with different denominators and that objects that are not the same shape can still be the same fraction. In terms of comparison students may have difficulty in comparing bigger fractions to smaller ones and in associating the size of the fraction to the size of the whole. Furthermore students may have difficulty is grasping all of the representations of fractions and the concept associated with fractions greater than one. Van De Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams (2013) discuss the importance of Iterating and partitioning in building conceptual understanding of fractions and the way they assist students to understand the meaning of fractions, particularly numerators and denominators and the relationship between the part and the whole. Partitioning involves sectioning shapes into equal-sized parts. Area, length and set models are particularly useful in partitioning. Iterating involves counting fractional parts and assists students to understand the relationship between the parts and the whole or the numerator and the denominator (pg 355). Although Iterating applies to all of the models it is mostly connected with length models as
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