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Changing the Face of Math Education Book 1 Chapter 16

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Multiplication & Division of Rational Numbers
16.1 Introduction…286
16.2 Strategies for Multiplying Proper and Improper Fractions…287
16.3 Strategies for Multiplying Mixed Fractions…294
16.4 Strategies for Dividing Rational Numbers…298
16.5 Practice Exercises for Chapter 16…302

In this chapter, you will be introduced to several different strategies for teaching multiplication and division of rational numbers. The introduction of different strategies for multiplication and division will help eliminate the notion that math is one dimensional and boring. If individuals are introduced to different strategies, they will feel as if they are in charge and able to make decisions for themselves as to how they wish to solve a problem. These strategies will also help eliminate some of the math anxiety developed by students that are unable to work a problem using the one particular strategy taught if only one strategy is taught.

This chapter is not as exciting as the last, but will show a few non-traditional strategies for multiplication and division that may help. Once again, fractions are here to stay and we need to change the way students look at fractions. As I tell my students “Fractions are your friends and Decimals are demons.” Why do I say this? Believe it or not, fractions are easier and faster to work with and they are more accurate than decimals. Decimals make you want to pick up and use a calculator.

All students need a strong foundation in multiplication and division of rational numbers in order to be successful in later mathematics courses and in life.
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