Background Information for Teachers

If you are looking for teaching ideas on fractions, you may want to browse through the materials collected by the Math Forum in the first resource entry here. The following three resources in this section offer insights into the arithmetic and algebra underlying the Focal Points for sixth graders. Each is a free, online workshop session developed for K-8 teachers by Learning Math.

Fractions: Middle School Lessons and Materials for Teachers The lessons and materials available here come from a variety of sites and organizations. Some include offers for video or software, but most are lesson plans, activities, and practice exercises. Topics include operations with fractions, fractions and decimals, fractions and algebra, and equivalent fractions.

Models for the Multiplication and Division of Fractions In this resource, part of a workshop session, you work with area models to demonstrate visually what happens when you multiply or divide fractions. Visual and insightful! After hands-on practice with these models, the lesson continues with a common denominator model to connect division of fractions with the actual procedure we all use.

Algebraic Thinking In this first session of a workshop for teachers, participants consider the role of algebra as a thinking tool. You will work with ways to describe and represent mathematical situations through pictures, charts, graphs, or words.

Patterns in Context This is the second session of the workshop described above. In these sessions, teachers explore the uses of variables in describing patterns and relationships. It’s more interesting than it sounds! You will find that algebra is one language used to describe and explain patterns that may look at first like only random facts. Using the tools of algebra can help us to reason and make sense of situations.

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