So of course, it was Melissa who came up with the classic line. It’s a line that I’m sure is heard in many Key Stage 2 classrooms whenever fractions are being taught.
To the question “and what do you call the number at the bottom of the fraction?”
The child responds: “Is it the D-d-d-dominator?”
Fractions are counter-intuitive to many people. They get smaller as they get bigger. When you multiply them they get smaller, sometimes. And when you divide them you make them go upside-down. They are just weird. And then you add new words like the dominator* and the nominator** and the children get even more confused…
I spent quite a bit of time teaching my Mathemateers about fractions in the last term and I’m hoping that my next few posts will detail some of my failures and successes as I attempted to teach them something they had previously known very little about.
I have written some time ago about the importance of accurate vocabulary when teaching mathematics, particularly with fractions.
* by this I mean ‘denominator’
** by this I mean ‘numerator’