5-8 Math Teacher and Interventionist, ELC Community School District, Iowa
I struggled watching students trying to memorize rules to work with fractions when it was obvious that so many had no idea what the fractions actually meant. Very few could show a simple fraction such as 1/3 using a model. Even fewer could explain WHY 1/3 is equivalent to 3/9. Performing the operations with fractions could only be done by students who could memorize the algorithms, but rarely would these students explain why the algorithm worked. We don't have the time in our curriculum to go back and start from scratch to develop that understanding.