You may be aware that recent changes to the National Curriculum have generated considerable media interest and heated debate. One area that has received substantial attention in this new curriculum, perhaps not surprisingly as 3 out of 2 people have difficulties here, is the teaching of fractions. We have found resonance with the idea of an enriched and more demanding curriculum and are implementing these changes and are now teaching fractions earlier and in greater depth. Thirds will now be introduced in Prep II, which will enable them to work with fractions other than halves and quarters much earlier. This is a tremendous improvement on the old curriculum, as a common misconception I come accross in older classes is that all fractions can be worked out by dividing by two! Please ask Prep IV about the fraction goats for further illumination. (© M. Gale, 2014). Significantly, 3/4 will now also be introduced in Prep II - the first time children encounter a non unitary fraaction. This opens the door for equivalene and addition of fractions to values greater than a whole. Huzzah!
My real time twitter feed from Prep 4 tells me that that use of apps on tablets at home is on the rise - this is clearly a popular development. I would like to share with you this site which offer free mathematics apps. In particular may I recommend the fraction app, which offers visual modelling of problems and will support the conceptual development in the understanding of fractions. In the same way that there is a fine line between the numerator and denominator, there can also be a fine line between a positive homework experience and feeling a little overwhelmed. Using these apps may well help keep motivation and enjoyment levels up. If you do use any of these apps, do let me know how you get on?