In this article, Drs. Ketterlin Geller, Lembke, and Powell discuss how they are supporting educators to implement (1) the process of data-based individualization (DBI), (2) the principles of explicit and systematic instruction, and (3) key components of algebra readiness as part of Project STAIR (Supporting Teaching of Algebra: Individual Readiness).
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NCII, through a collaboration with the University of Connecticut, developed a set of course modules focused on developing educators’ skills in using explicit instruction. These course modules are designed to support faculty and professional development providers with instructing pre-service and in-service educators who are developing and/or refining their implementation of explicit instruction.
Module 8 is the fourth module in a set of four course modules focused on explicit instruction. This module reviews explicit instruction and the supporting practices. It includes a number of opportunities to view and evaluate lesson examples, apply what was learned, and self-reflect.
This video demonstrates how to use fraction tiles and the set model to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions. It is important that students have the opportunity to convert fractions using both models of representation.
This video demonstrates how to use the set model to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions. It is important that students are exposed to converting fractions using this model because it is often how fractions are represented in the real world. Beginners and students who struggle may find the set model difficult to understand because the whole (1) is represented by a set of chips (4 chips in this example); therefore, students will benefit from explicit modeling and several opportunities to engage in guided and independent practice.
This video demonstrates different partitioning strategies that students can use to multiply fractions. Partitioning refers to dividing a shape, such as a rectangle, into equal pieces. In area models and length models, the total number of equally partitioned pieces represents the denominator of the product. Students can practice multiplying nonequivalent fractions using an area model without concrete materials, such as by creating a grid using paper and pencil, or with concrete materials such as fraction grids. Students should also have the opportunity to practice multiplication using fraction tiles and length model.
This video demonstrates how to use the set model to multiply equivalent fractions. Before students can multiple fractions they should understand the concepts of repeated addition and grouping as it is used with multiplication of whole numbers. Teachers should carefully model multiplication using the set model as students have to understand that when re-grouping the parts of the fractions, they need to keep the denominator the same. The set model is also a useful strategy for introducing how to multiply fractions that are not equivalent; so, students may benefit from multiple opportunities to practice with equivalent fractions first.
This video demonstrates how to use fraction tiles to multiply a fraction and whole number. Students should have experience with determining the fraction of a whole (2 x 2/3) before being introduced to determining the fraction of a fraction (2/3 x 3/4). Before students multiply fractions, they should understand the concepts of repeated addition and grouping as it is used with multiplication of whole numbers. Teachers can model how to create equivalent groups (such as two groups of 2/3). Students can then use skills of addition and converting improper fractions to mixed numbers to find the product.
This video demonstrates how to use the set model to subtract fractions with unlike denominators. Students need to have the prerequisite conceptual knowledge of finding like denominators before they can apply subtraction strategies to fractions with unlike denominators.
This video demonstrates how to model subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators using fraction tiles. Like subtraction with whole numbers, many students struggle with subtraction of fractions; so students should have several opportunities to practice subtraction using concrete materials such as fraction tiles.