Learning environments

The 3rd graders are about 8 to 9 years old. Teaching them fractions does not need the use of objects as the children already understand the meaning of fractions.
How to compare halves and quarters
• I will give two play dough balls to each student
• Then they break one ball into halves and the other into quarters.
• Using a balance scale. Put one half one side and two quarters on the other. This shows that a half is equivalent to two quarters.
• It is now clear that one half is equivalent to two quarters.

What drove my design is the desire to show a visual representation of the difference between a half fraction and a quarter fraction. Having a real example and the children see for themselves how a whole is broken into halves and quarters. They will grasp the concept of fractions and in future will not require demonstrations on know the difference between halves and quarter fractions.
My idea of using play balls to demonstrate the difference between half and quarter fractions came from the fact that visually demonstrating the difference between the two fractions is an effective way to teach learners about fraction. It removes the ambiguity of having to explain in theoretical terms and the students considering their level as 3rd grades still need visual aids to make them understand the concept of fractions.
The use of the play balls relates to the leaner centered environment where the learner is engaged in the learning process. They participate in the teaching process and are able to grasp concepts as the focus is on the students understanding the lesson by delivering to them in a simple and understandable manner. The lesson also fulfils the knowledge centered environment where the teaching the concept of fractions has been tailored to the level of understanding of the student. They are also involved in the development of the concept of fractions making them understand the difference between half and quarter fractions. I will improve on assessment centered environment where the children will require more assignments to gauge their understanding of fractions.

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