Middle School Students’ Difficulties in Locating Fractions on NumberLines
Learning rational number concepts is challenging for a variety of reasons for many middle school students. Past research documented students’ poor understanding of rational numbers. One reason behind this learning difficulty might be related to that rational numbers can be interpreted in many ways, such as understanding rational numbers as partwhole relations, measure, quotient, ratio, and operator. This study explored what meaning(s) of rational numbers middle school students use when locating fractions on number lines. Specifically, this study examined middle school students’ difficulties in locating rational numbers on number lines. A total of forty seventh graders from Turkey and United States were asked to locate proper and improper fractions on number lines. Results showed that the majority of Turkish and American students overgeneralized partwhole partitioning strategies to locate fractions on numberlines. Many students conceived the whole number line as oneunit and they did not consider the rational number on a number line represents some distance from a zero point when locating fractions on number lines.
Keywords: Rational Numbers, Number Line
Huseyin Bahadir Yanik
Assistant Professor, College of EducationMathematics Education, Anadolu University

Ref: L09P1742