Teaching fractions for conceptual understanding to grade IV students in a private school of Gilgit-Baltistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Teaching and learning of fractions continues to be one of the major challenges in primary school context. Among many reasons of the challenges in understanding fractions, one dominant reason is the traditional teacher-centered teaching, which focuses more on solving algorithms based on memorized rules. This study is an attempt to investigate how learners could be facilitated in learning fractions with understanding. For this purpose, I carried out an action research based on qualitative research approach with six students of grade IV in a private school of Gilgit-Baltistan. I conducted the study in three stages; reconnaissance stage, intervention stage and post- intervention stage. In the reconnaissance stage, my focus was to examine the students’ understanding of fractions and the process of learning fractions before intervention through one to one clinical interviews, classroom observations and document analysis. In the intervention stage, I taught twelve lessons of fractions to the students with innovative teaching strategies concentrating the three representations; concrete, pictorial and symbolic and focused the process of building conceptual understanding of fractions. In the post- intervention stage my focus was to explore students’ understanding of fractions after being exposed to the instructions again through one to one clinical interviews of the participant-students.The findings revealed that the students’ understanding of the concepts of fractions i.e. equivalent, ordering, addition and subtraction of fractions was developed. The factors which contributed in building students’ conceptions were: scaffolding students of the foundational concepts (partitioning, part-whole and part-part relationship, concept of whole), promoting students’ fraction vocabulary, simultaneous use of concrete, pictorial and symbolic representation, building connections among the concepts of fractions. The findings of this study suggest mathematics teachers to teach fractions using concrete, pictorial and symbolic representations and facilitate students to explore the moves between these representations.

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