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UW Professor Publishes Article on New Method for Fraction Competence in Fifth Graders

May 9, 2022
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Jihyun Lee

A University of Wyoming faculty member served as co-author and researcher for a recently published article that examines the effort of a Tier 2 intervention to help fifth graders with fractions.

Jihyun Lee, an assistant professor in the UW College of Education, conducted an intervention study and wrote the paper “The Effect of a Tier 2 Multicomponent Fraction Intervention for Fifth Graders Struggling With Fractions” in the Hammill Institute on Disabilities Research Library. The article proposes a new way to look at teaching fractions through a multitiered system of support model.

“My primary research interest is teaching mathematics to students with mathematics learning disabilities and difficulties,” Lee says. “The publication is directly related to the topic, so I was very passionate about it.”

Among the article’s key points is that there are gaps in current literature revolving around fraction learning in elementary students. Drawing from both mathematics education and special education, a new development of Tier 2 fraction intervention was informed and studied. The intervention in the study included multiple instructional components: explicit instruction; multiple representations; addressing misconceptions; flexibility, reversibility and generalization questions; and self-graphing.

After permission from the institutional review board was granted, the intervention was implemented for this study conducted at a charter school in the southwestern United States, serving 304 students in grades K-5.

Others contributing to the publication were Diane Pedrotty Bryant and Brian Bryant, both of the University of Texas-Austin.

Lee is passionate about finding new scientific ways of teaching mathematics to help students’ mathematics learning disabilities and difficulties. She hopes schools will develop effective mathematics interventions that are easy for teachers to implement to support students struggling with mathematics.

“To our knowledge, no fraction intervention studies have addressed students’ common misconceptions when teaching fractions,” Lee says. “This study attempts to address these blank spots by targeting them within each lesson.”

For more information, call Lee at (307) 766-1998 or email jlee59@uwyo.edu.

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