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Those Pesky Fractions

From my experiences in tutoring, I have come to realize that one of the biggest struggles for the young students in math is understanding fractions. When they see a fraction, they would rather leap off the Brooklyn Bridge than attempt to understand what it means. In their defense, fractions are one of the more complicated subject matters in mathematics. It's difficult to understand how to do things with regular numbers; why do we have to learn everything again with fractions...AHHH!

A specific example I had with one student struggling with fractions was placing them in order from least the greatest. Let me give you a summary of my session:

Question: Place the following in order from least to greatest 1/5, 1/6, 1/7.

As you can imagine the student became very frustrated (as it is a daunting task to find the common denominator in this problem). So I had to take extraordinary measures...

"Margaret", I said, "if you were starving and a couple of your friends were coming over, your mom told you I only have 1 pot of food to serve; would you prefer 5 friends to share with, 6 friends to share with, or 7 friends to share with?"

This immediately elicited a laughing response, and was followed by comments of how hungry she was... She thought it out and said "I would prefer 5 friends to come over because I would get more food". BINGO!! My example worked exactly how I planned it to.

After this my favorite line came out of her lips, "I actually understand fractions now, I never understood what fractions were, thank you Andrew." At these lines I knew right away that tutoring was not only my my favorite hobby but that my career calling must be in education.

This is an example of how I explain subjects that are complicated and difficult to grasp. If you like the way I explained this, if you enjoy an idea that this blog elicited, or if you are fond of my methods of tutoring, don't be shy shoot me an email (I'll be happy to explain some material to you as well). Feel free to take a look at my other blogs and my profile to get a good sense of who I am.

I am Andrew, professional tutor, professional engineer, and tennis extraordinaire, my philosophy is to make mathematics fun, fun, and more fun... After all why should we learn if its not fun. Help me help you and drop me an email. Thanks for reading.

Comments

Hey Ter, I'm glad you like my posts. If you want to set up a session with me here are the steps: 1)you can go to my profile and click email this tutor! 2) Send me a message with what you want help with or just say Hi 3) I'll message you back and we could set up a lesson time and place. It's that easy. Hope this clears up your question and I look forward to working with you.