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Student Skills

Developing an Algorithm for Fraction Multiplication

This video is of a student or students demonstrating a skill. The focus is students' use and flexibility with skills.

The video was shot in the same week, when students were studying Bits and Pieces II, Investigation 3 for CMP2 (Let's Be Rational, Investigation 2 is the CMP3 equivalent).

As you view the video, consider the following:

  • What skill is the student demonstrating?
  • When did the student learn this skill?
  • Is the student proficient?
  • Is the algorithm traditional? Mathematically correct?
  • How does this skill relate to either the meaning of fractions or multiplying fractions (the focus of Bits and Pieces II, Inv. 3)?
  • In what setting has the skill arisen—homework, a new problem or some other setting?
  • Does the student seem confident? Is he/she making sense?
  • Has the teacher chosen to include this skill practice at an appropriate time? (See Teri’s reflection for Day 3.)
  • Are there occasions when students are seen using procedural skills without any relation to developing conceptual knowledge?
  • What value is there in practicing procedural skills for their own sake?
  • Full Length Video (26.32)
  • Problem 3.3
  • Goals
    • Estimate products of fractions
    • Use models to represent the product of two fractions
    • Understand that finding a fraction of a number means multiplication
    • Develop and use strategies and models for multiplying combinations of fractions, whole numbers, and mixed numbers to solve problems
    • Determine when multiplication is an appropriate operation
    • Explore the relationships between two numbers and their product
    • Develop and use an efficient algorithm to solve any fraction multiplication problem
  • Video Transcript
  • Suggestions for organizing Professional Development