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Number & Operations—Fractions¹

Develop understanding of fractions as numbers


The Number and Operations Standard describes a deep and fundamental understanding of, and proficiency with, counting, numbers, and arithmetic, as well as an understanding of number systems and their structures. Fractions are numbers that can be represented as divisions of whole numbers or as parts of a unit whole. They are often used for comparison of parts to a whole. Grade 3 expectations in this domain are limited to fractions with denominators 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8.

In the grades K-2, students became familiar with their first formal fractional concepts. Unit fractions are now expanded to be the building blocks for other fractions. Unifix® cubes, pattern blocks, circles, and strips are but a few of the concrete models that support a student’s understanding of a part of a whole and that the part is relative to the size of the whole. The hands-on experiences with various models are critical. Students should be able to compare fractions and solve problems involving comparisons of fractional amounts. They learn to do this by comparing the numerators and denominators of the fractions. Again, this is a skill that is aided by the use of visual models. Students also need to discuss fractions and be able to draw various representations of fractions.

This continuum contains Counting and Cardinality standards for K, Number and Operations and Algebraic Thinking standards K-3, Number and Operations in Base Ten standards K-3, Number and Operations – Fractions standards for grade 3.