Conference Proceedings

Fraction Tasks and their links to Algebraic Thinking

C Pearn, Max Stephens

Proceedings of the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education: ICME 13 | Springer | Published : 2016


This paper will discuss how Year 6 elementary school students who have yet to meet formal algebraic notation create algebraic meaning and syntax through their solutions of fraction problems. Sample solutions will show how students use " best available " symbols to move beyond arithmetic calculation and to create chains of algebraic reasoning. Several efficient and successful multiplicative methods are used to achieve this goal, in contrast to less efficient methods, usually additive and pictorial, which may work only with simple fractions.