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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:

Good teaching of the part-whole area model includes:

  • developing visualisation skills to build a sense of the relative sizes of commonly used fractions
  • using grids and arrays when exploring equivalence in order to promote multiplicative thinking (factors and multiples) rather than only additive thinking.