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MIAA 330 Voyer, Heather

Error Analysis Paper

Error Analysis from Lesson

Misconceptions on fraction strip lesson:

Students Understood:
One student thought one unit,
folded in would be 2 units I
asked her if it was 2 wholes, we
started with a whole, one unit. We
folded it in half, so we have and
which equals one unit.
Some students were unsure how to
fold their unit into 3 equal parts.
Many thought we would fold our
unit a little more than half, one
student said fold the unit about half
way and then wed fold the other
side over it.
Students were asked why we
needed to fold our unit just less than
way to get thirds only had one
student attempt to answer he said,
If we go half way theyre not
going to be even.
One student thought I could extend
the line down to divide my thirds
from the line I had drawn to divide
my halves.
Dividing a unit into four equal parts
some students struggled knowing
how we could divide it equally.
Putting into decimal form, one
student said two and 5 tenths.
Students clearly knew each strip
was considered a unit.
Making two equal parts students
knew to fold a unit in half by
putting the 2 ends together and
creasing in the middle.
They knew a unit equaled one
Candy bar example if I spilt the
candy bar with one other person vs.
two other people students realized
if you spilt the candy bar with more
people, youll get less of the candy
Creating the division sentence of
the fraction: 1 divided by 2 = , 1
divided by 3 = 1/3, one divided by 4
= 1/4.
When drawing our thirds, I asked
the class if I should just extend my
line down from where I had drawn
the previous fraction in half, one
student answered yes, and the rest
of the class said NO!
Students could tell when parts were
not equal either on their drawing
or fraction strip.
Many students did know how to
divide a unit into 4 equal halves by
first folding the unit in half and then
dividing it in half again.
Some students knew another name
for - one knew a quarter.
In terms of money, 25 cents.
Decimal form = 0.25, twenty-five
Another name for same one
student said the same, another said
MIAA 330 Voyer, Heather
Error Analysis Paper

Error Analysis Reflection

The lesson I chose to record was taken from Fraction Camp that my co-worker
participated in a few years ago, but I also found a similar one on the Internet from
Bridges in Mathematic. However the one I found on the Internet was created for fourth
grade, and I do teach fifth grade. But before students can really grasp fractions, they
have to understand what a fraction is. Fraction Camp begins with this by allowing the
students to explore what a fraction is and create their own fraction strips.
We began the lesson with a 12-inch white strip that would become our unit. Due
to the exploration period on what was a unit the day before, students clearly grasped that
a unit was anything that made a whole. Next they were given a pink 12-inch strip and
asked to discuss how we could create two equal parts out of this unit. Most students
seemed to quickly grasp we could fold the unit in half by putting the two ends together
and that would give us two equal parts. However, when it came to labeling our halves,
one student asked if the two halves should be labeled as one unit. After explaining to this
student that we started with one unit, and then we divided the unit into two equal parts,
she was able to connect that and made one whole, a unit. I believe this
misconception was a misunderstanding of the mathematical process. I think here I could
have used an object for her to see or visualize this concept maybe a candy bar and talk
to her about dividing the bar into two equal parts so wed both have the same. I used this
example later in the lesson and students-even this student who originally struggled with
this- was able to make the connection that if dividing a candy bar between two people,
each person would receive of the bar.
MIAA 330 Voyer, Heather
Error Analysis Paper

This misconception of this student possibly tells me that she struggled with
fractions in previous years. Halves are introduced in the primary grades I believe in
second grade and the fact that she struggled with recognizing that and equaled one
tells me she never really mastered this concept or fully understood fractions. Which is
why I believe its valuable for students to have the hands-on exploration time of being
able to create their own fraction strips and really think about a unit is and how to create a
unit even at fifth grade.
The next big misconception came with more that just one student. This occurred
when students were asked to take their third strip and create three equal parts. After
giving the students time to discuss and come up with ideas, many thought we should fold
the strip about half way and then fold the other half over it. I was hoping students would
be able to describe that we should fold our strip just less than half way because that
would tell me they realized thirds would be smaller than halves. However, I had to help
guide the students to this wording, just less than half way. Once we had the wording,
most of them were able to explain the why behind it. I believe the students had the
language to explain dividing our unit into thirds, but they had trouble pulling this
language out and verbalizing it. Once it was heard, and wrote it, they could explain that
thirds would be smaller than halves.
During this misconception, I used a candy bar example with the students. The
students easily grasped that if they were sharing the bar with just two people, they would
get more candy than if they had to share it with three people. This told me students
understood that thirds were less than halves.
MIAA 330 Voyer, Heather
Error Analysis Paper

As for the grade spans, in the primary grades of first and second, students are
recognizing and matching equivalent fractions which is not a concept I was focusing on
during this lesson. However, it is where I am heading, therefore, it is good head
knowledge for me to know where students begin learning about equal fractions or
fractions that take up the same space as we refer to them in fifth grade. Third grade is
when students begin thinking and exploring halves, thirds, and fourths. During my
fraction camp, this is where we started on the day I recorded my lesson. Most of my
students appeared to have a fairly solid grasp on these three fractions and the
misconceptions that did arise during the lesson could be clarified in a way I felt students
were able to understand. As we continued fraction camp the following day, (even though
I didnt record my lesson) we created fifths and sixths. Fifths was by far the most
challenging for my students. Lastly, fifth grade has been known as the jumping off grade
level that leads students into much deeper and more complex math from sixth grade and
on, which is why I feel it is imperative for me as a fifth grade teacher to do my very best
to ensure students conceptual understanding of fractions so they will be prepared for the
next grade level and beyond.