Showing posts from December, 2010

Fraction of a fraction word problem

A problem about fraction of a fraction... The sixth-graders have a fundraieser. They raise enough money to reach 7/8 of their goal. Nikki raises 3/4 of this money. What fraction of the goal does Nikki raise? The picture below shows first of all 7/8. Nikki raises 3/4 of this goal. We need to find 3/4 of 7/8. It's not easy to directly see what is 3/4 of 7/8. So to do that, I divide each 1/8 piece into four pieces, and then color three of the four. That way I color 3/4 of each of the seven eighths. Of course, those tiny pieces are now 1/32 parts. I have colored 3 x 7 = 21 of them. So, the colored part represents the fraction 21/32. This problem is also simple to solve without a picture, if you understand what is asked. To find 3/4 of 7/8, you simply multiply those two fractions. The word "of" translates into MULTIPLICATION in fraction math!  3 7 21 --- x --- = ---- 4 8 32

A book on education crisis

I'm just passing on a link that some of you might enjoy (or be sad about). I found it interesting -- a math teacher (Larry Zafran) telling his story of teaching math in an inner city high school in New York in the early 2000s. It appears not much was able to be done but to try to survive and get through the day while presenting the official curriculum topics in class, at least on the board.