*Talking Math with Your Kids *week continues.

I worry about how much fraction work we do in early elementary grades, before lots of kids are really ready.

Some evidence…

Griffin (seven) has been doing his second-grade math homework, which is to find of 4, and then of 8, and then of 20, etc. After several of these, he is to fill in the blanks: of ___ is ___. He begins with of 4 is 1.

Me: You already did that one; it was the first problem. You have to do a new one.

Griffin(seven years old): But I don’t know what else to do.

Me:Any other number that you haven’t already done is fine.

G: Hmmph.

Me:What about doing 2?

G: I already did that, it’s 8.

Me: No, no. What about doing 2 as the thing you find 1/4 of?

G: Dad, there is no 1/4 of 2. It’d be in the negatives!

I have to believe that some extended time thinking about sharing situations would be a much better use of Griffin’s homework time than expressing the results of this sharing abstractly as of a discrete quantity.