Mathematics

The theme for this essay is fractions, decimals, ratios, rates, and percents, and the relationships between them. These different representations of numbers are the subject of Modules 1 – 5. Most people see these different ways of representing numbers as being different in many ways. For example, fractions might be considered difficult to deeply learn and confidently use, compared to decimals or percents. But fractions might be easier in some situations. You may have your own stories about learning these different representations of numbers when you were young. You may currently have your own difficulties or insights regarding these different representations of numbers and the relationships between them.

You are free to write whatever is genuine to you about fractions, decimals, ratios, rates, and percents, and the relationships between them. You are also welcome to do some supporting research. However, if you are not sure what to what to say, here are some example questions you could answer:

1. Describe an “Aha” moment you had when you were first learning about percents, decimals, fractions, ratios or rates.

2. What are fractions, as you think of them, and why do they exist? Where did they come from and why?

3. Are fractions useful or a hindrance? Give specific examples. Why don’t we just use decimals?

4. Is there a good reason to use percents? Is there a better way to indicate the same meaning as percents?

5. Do you think fractions are easy or hard to learn and use (or both)? Give specific examples to support your answer.

6. Is the difference between a fraction, ratio, and rate clear enough for you? If you find the difference between these representations to be very clear, then define them, give examples, and show how they are different. If you find don’t think the difference between these representations is clear enough, then give an example that causes confusion for you.

7. Ratios and rates are often depicted with a fraction bar. Is that okay with you, or is that confusing. If you’re not happy about that, suggest some different symbols to use.

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