Fıfth Grade Students' Learning of Multiplication of Fractions Based on Realistic Mathematics Education

Shanty, Nenden Octavarulia
This study investigated fifth-grade students’ learning of multiplication of fractions designed based on Realistic Mathematics Education (RME). The study used design research with a Hypothetical Learning Trajectory (HLT) as a research instrument. The HLT was tested with five students at an international school in Ankara, Türkiye (i.e., two students at the pilot experiment and three students at the teaching experiment). The study found that using well-chosen contexts helped students use models for multiplication of fractions, leading to formalization and number sense acquisition. The findings suggested that students’ learning of multiplication of fractions improved through mathematizing processes. These included modeling (when attempting to solve problems, students utilized models like number lines, ratio tables, and arrays); symbolizing (for example, in the context of 3/4 of a lot representing the playground, the "4" indicates that the rectangle should be divided into four equal parts, and the "3" represents that three of these parts should be shaded to visually depict the portion of the playground belonging to the lot/garden as a whole); generalizing (as students made a generalization that the word "of" signifies multiplication, they discovered that 2/5 of 3/4 means 2/5×3/4); formalizing (when students noticed a pattern that involved multiplying a fraction by a whole number, they could add 1 to the denominator of the whole number, and then, they would simply multiply the two fractions); and abstracting (when students applied their mathematical skills to solve the problem more formally). Additionally, the study identified the challenges that students faced when learning to multiply fractions using the designed activities. The research findings can be utilized as a valuable reference for developing effective instructional activities for teaching and learning the multiplication of fractions.
Citation Formats
N. O. Shanty, “Fıfth Grade Students’ Learning of Multiplication of Fractions Based on Realistic Mathematics Education,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2023.