Materials recently published to assist in improving children's understanding of fractions:

Developing Effective Fractions Instruction for Kindergarten Through 8th Grade (2010)  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION - Institute for Education Studies

The publicaton provides strategies to develop young children’s understanding of early fraction concepts and ideas for helping older children understand the meaning of fractions and the computations involved. The guide also highlights ways to build on students’ existing strategies to solve problems involving ratios, rates, and proportions. 

This practice guide presents five recommendations intended to help educators improve students’ understanding of fractions.   These include: 
• Build on students’ informal understanding of sharing and proportionality to develop initial fraction concepts.
• Help students recognize that fractions are numbers and that they expand the number system beyond whole numbers. Use number lines as a central representational tool in teaching this and other fraction concepts from the early grades onward.
• Help students understand why procedures for computations with fractions make sense.
• Develop students’ conceptual understanding of strategies for solving ratio, rate, and proportion problems before exposing them to cross-multiplication as a procedure to use to solve such problems.
• Professional development programs should place a high priority on improving teachers’ understanding of fractions and of how to teach them.

Download the guide at:

Foundations for Success:  The final report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel  (2008)  U. S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The publication presents a framework of opportunities for the improvement in mathematics education.   The recommendations address every aspect of the mathematics education system, including curricular strategies as well as teacher preparation and the need for research on how children learn mathematics concepts.  

Download the report at: