Using the part-whole model
The part-whole construct of fractions, when modelled with area diagrams, provides a useful tool for developing an initial understanding of fractions. Watch the video The Part-Whole Meaning for Fractions.
You can download the Part-Whole Meaning for Fractions video transcript.
However, care must be taken in teaching to ensure students fully understand the concepts involved. Otherwise, a range of misconceptions commonly arise, such as:
- taking notice of the number of parts only, rather than their equality
- seeing the written fractions as a double count of parts, existing as two whole numbers rather than a single number
- using different wholes when attempting to compare the size of two fractions.
Good teaching of the part-whole area model includes: