At Georgia Southern University, Noyce scholars are not only being mentored, but they are also serving as mentors to preservice elementary teachers. One topic that proves to be problematic for many students is the conceptual understanding of fractions and rational expressions. Since our Noyce scholars with mathematics degrees will be teaching algebra, it is important that they are fluent with the arithmetic to algebra connection. In addition, it is crucial that these mathematics majors become stakeholders in mathematics education at the elementary school level.
Performance assessments can provide the structure necessary for assisting pre-service elementary teachers in firmly establishing the arithmetic to algebra connection. This session showcases a performance assessment where students are not only required to connect concrete models with standard fraction algorithms, but are also required to explain these connections. In this performance assessment, fraction bars are used with the number line in order to establish the arithmetic to algebra connection. Noyce scholars assist by helping and evaluating these pre-service teachers. By participating, not only do Noyce scholars support elementary teachers, but they also gain strategies and resources needed to teach fractions in a way that leads to conceptual understanding.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/brian_koehler/3/