Retangular fraction models.
Kibler, Rachael H.
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SubjectManipulatives (Education).; Fractions.; Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary).; Mathematics teachers -- Training of.
The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore how implementation of a new, researcher-developed simple improvised manipulative (SIM) impacted 5th graders in an urban, Common Core-aligned classroom. The Rectangular Fraction Model, a SIM created with two overlapping pieces of transparent plastic, was tested through performance of this experiment. This research sought to answer the following two central questions: How does implementation of a SIM, the Rectangular Fraction Model, impact 5th grade students’ math achievement in a mathematics class at an urban Chautauqua County elementary school in Western New York? How does use of a concrete representation affect students’ conceptual understanding of abstract material as taught through the Common-Core aligned EngageNY curriculum? The researcher was interested in two areas of possible impact on student learning; student achievement measured by a formal assessment and student understanding of abstract materials evaluated through use of an interview and questionnaire. Twelve students participated in the study; they were placed in heterogeneous control and experimental groups. The results indicate that although students in the experimental group scored better on the post test and appeared to have a better understanding of the concept taught, the difference between the control and the experimental group was not statistically significant. Thus, the use of SIM is not more effective than the traditional teaching approach. However, student responses indicate an interest in using this type of intervention material, and further research should be conducted on the impact of SIM in the mathematics classroom.
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