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How Teaching Fractions to Elementary Students Looks in the Common Core Era


In 2019, forty-five percent of fourth grade students scored proficient on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. Previous research indicates that fractions and algebra are two domains that cause confusion for students (NMAP, 2008). This study examined the pedagogical decisions regarding fraction instruction for third and fourth grade students. Twenty third and fourth grade teachers within Los Angeles County participated in semi-structured interviews. I used a qualitative research design in order to determine how and why teachers make particular instructional choices and their challenges related to fraction instruction. Once data were collected, I analyzed patterns of reasoning to illuminate similarities and differences within the sample. My findings showed teachers are seeking and open to more effective fraction instruction and consider their school and student dynamics to guide pedagogical decisions. This suggests an opening for professional development in the area of elementary fraction instruction.

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