Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
“Let’s imagine” Fractions with the angle metre
Name of the teacher
Veronica Del Bene
Country where it took place
School typology
Vocational School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class, Extracurricular activity
Type of contact
Direct, Indirect
Description of the Experience
Last year, I took a second year class and took part in a project called “Let’s overcome our difficulties” which had been organised by the maths department at the institute where I teach. The project required, once a week for a period of around two months, the co-presence in the classroom of a maths colleague, together with whom I attempted to resolve some of the difficulties that my students have with calculating fractions. Rather than working on a verbal approach, our teaching centred on an iconic-visual approach as a preliminary to the comprehension and understanding of abstract concepts. Initially a test was given to the class which required the students to associate some mathematical ideas connected to numbers and operations between them (for example the idea of the number “1/2” more than the operation “1/2+1/3”, the idea of “double” or of “half”), an image which represents them. Then each student was asked to make an instrument made of paper, which we called angle meter and which helped them to visualise the fractions and the calculations between them. It is a kind of “do it yourself” goniometer, constructed out of two paper discs of the same size, with different colours, linked through a cut on their respective radii. The angle meter allows the student to very easily associate to a concept, an image that describes it and / or the number (fraction) that corresponds to it. After finishing the training practice visualising with the angle metre, the students themselves experimented with teaching fractions, presenting games and interviews to their young friends or acquaintances (age range 3 – 13 years). All the students’ experiences were documented with written reports, photos and images, and were discussed in the classroom. The experience ended with a final test in which the students were asked to comment on the experience and, as always with the aim of knowing how to visualise mathematical concepts, were tested on various abilities pertaining to calculating with fractions. For the class it was without a doubt an important educational experience, as shown by a comment made by Simone, a student with serious difficulties in learning, “I liked this activity with the angle metre a lot; I felt more secure. I learnt to see fractions in another more enjoyable way”.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.10.25

Posted by Petru raducanu (Romania)

It is a very good example of how to make mathematics accessible and understandable by students. I noticed that everything was taken very seriously and everybody played an important role in the whole work. It was learning by doing, which helped also students associate abstract concepts with images. I'll also have a try at it!


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.