fractions and decimals

Posted on July 15, 2014

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Whereas, in the article about what students understand when they land in “developmental math,” *most* students could not add a fraction and a decimal, I considered comprehension when Student asked how to figure out what 2/2.5 was (as the slope of a line). She started to ask about doing something that was a fragment of a procedure…(“do I add a zero?”)

… I suggested that she multiply top and bottom by 10 which looked and felt familiar and “right,” and … happily, the idea that multiplying a number by ten nudged the decimal place did, too. A conceptual connection happened where there had once been two separate procedures. (If I’d had all the time in the world, or a number line really really handy, I’d have shown her 2 and 2.5 and the “four halves to five halves” relationship…)

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