Roundup: January 2017


“Study Finds Common Core’s Take on Fractions is on Target” by John Brasher

  • We know that understanding fractions is critical to student achievement in high school math, but teaching these concepts effectively can be tricky.  A new Vanderbilt study shows that using a  a number line  is effective for increasing students’ understanding of fractions. In the study, 4th and 5th grade students were given brief instructions about unit fractions and then they played an interactive computer game that prompted them to estimate fractions on a number line. Results show that the game increased students’ abilities to estimate and recall fractions, better setting them up to be successful with more advanced math concepts in the future.

“Catch the Monster with Fractions” Game


What Neuroscience Can Tell Us about Making Fractions Stick” by Katrina Schwartz

  • Understanding how fractions work in middle school is a key predictor of how students will perform in their high school math courses. But ensuring students truly understand the conceptual reasoning behind why fractions work the way they do is a difficult task. This article discusses how our brains process information for learning and provides key tools and strategies that teachers can use in their classrooms to help their students reach a deeper understanding of difficult math concepts, such as fractions. Some of these strategies include providing a variety of ways for students to interact with the new information and creating problems where students must come up with their own solutions.

The various regions of the brain used when learning fractions. (Valorie Salimpoor)



Instructional Resources

  • 3 Act Math Tasks are helpful teaching strategies for improving student problem solving skills,  especially going beyond “key words” tricks in word problems. Check out this webinar for an introduction to how to use these tasks with students. Additionally, you can peruse this great blog for more information and tools on 3 Act Math Tasks.


  • Achieve the Core published a helpful guide that discusses strategies to use before, during, and after reading instruction to support struggling readers in accessing and comprehending complex texts. For even more strategies, check out the partner article to this resource that we shared in the December Roundup.


  • In the December Roundup, we shared research showing the relationship between text complexity and vocabulary, especially tiered vocabulary. For support in identifying key Tier 2 words specifically, be sure to peruse this great Academic Word Finder tool from Student Achievement Partners.


D2D Happenings

  • Check out our Events page - we have some exciting upcoming events including Network Meetings and IPG Norming Days.
  • We also kicked off a virtual Algebra I Teacher Support Network in January, available to any district across states. Registration is still open - register your teachers here.

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