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Fractions for welders

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Hecht, Grettel
Hofacker, Erick; Ernie, Kathryn
MSE, Mathematics
Aug 01, 2012
Welding students; Fractions; Fractions--Study and teaching; Mathematics--Study and teaching; Welding; Metal-work--Mathematics
Successfully teaching elementary school and middle level students how to understand and deal with rational numbers has been a source of exploration for many years. Specifically, many researchers have examined best practices for helping students grasp a conceptual understanding of fractions, including how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide with fractions. Additionally, many scholars have turned their attention to the comfort level prospective teachers have with regard to fractions; often veteran educators are included in these studies as well. The Fractions for Welders curriculum project involves alternative methods for teaching and learning how to perform basic operations with fractions. Fraction division is an area of focus but the scope of the project extends beyond one operation. Fundamental skills such as creating equivalent fractions (including those expressed in lowest terms) are also handled in a slightly nonstandard way. The phrase "version of one" is introduced and becomes a key component of the entire curriculum. The goal of the Fractions for Welders project is to analyze the effectiveness of a unique curriculum, originally developed for seventh graders, when it has been modified and then implemented in a technical college classroom containing second-semester welding students. This has been accomplished through careful examination of two pre-tests and two post-tests. Based on the outcomes of the pre- and post-tests there is evidence to verify the curriculum had an encouraging impact on the learners involved. Student growth and understanding was detected; yet, further modifications could still be made to produce a more effective unit on rational numbers.
Plan B Paper. 2012. Master of Science in Education-Mathematics--University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Mathematics Department. ii + 138 leaves. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 87-88).
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