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# Number of parts only

Number of parts only

Some students think that a fraction simply indicates the number of parts into which a whole has been divided, and that it does not matter if the parts are unequal in size.

During the first few years of school, students begin applying the concept of parts and wholes; they work with halves, then quarters and eighths. Some students will only notice the number of parts, without realising the parts must be equal.

Even though these students might develop appropriate understandings like 'the larger the number of parts, the smaller the parts will be', the misconception that it is only the number of parts that define a fraction may persist.

When looking at a written fraction, students with this misconception interpret the denominator as indicating the number of parts, without realising the fraction label only applies if the parts are equal.

Yes

Yes

Name Class Section
Unequal areas Folder 17
Teaching equal parts Folder 17
Paper folding Folder 17
Year 1: Recognise and describe one-half as one of two equal parts of a whole Infobox 3
Year 2: Recognise and interpret common uses of halves, quarters and eighths of shapes and collections Infobox 3
Source Infobox 3
Cassowary fractions Folder 17