Instructional goal statement
The instructional goal should focus on the elimination of current problems of students with understanding and manipulating with fractions. However, the solution of difficulties with fractions is the strategic goal, while educators should focus on the resolution of multiple problems related to students’ ability to understand and manipulate with improper fractions, mixed numbers, common denominators, and renaming and comparing fractions by finding a denominator, equivalent fractions and order fractions of all types. At this point, it is important to stress that the problem is the poor instructions provided by educators for students. Therefore, the instructional goal should involve the improvement of the quality of instructions and finding approaches which are the most effective for improvement of students’ skills related to manipulating fractions.
The requisite entry-level knowledge and skills
At the moment, students are in the 5th grade but they have difficulties with improper fractions, mixed numbers, common denominators, and renaming and comparing fractions by finding a denominator, equivalent fractions and order fractions of all types. As a result, they fail to understand and manipulate fractions properly. The current level of their academic knowledge and skills is relatively low. They know what fractions are but the understanding of their essence slips from students and they cannot catch the point. They are likely to face problems which accumulate each other and grow more and more serious. What is meant here is the fact that the failure of students to understand improper fractions, for instance, leads to their failure to understand how to use them properly and how to manipulate them, or the failure of understanding common denominator leads to the failure of students to understand how to manipulate fractions by finding a denominator. If these problems remain unresolved, students will be unable to resolve their problems related to understanding and manipulating fractions. Therefore, educators should develop instructions focusing on the solution of minor problems, developing students’ skills step by step, starting from the basics of fractions to reach the target level of their academic development.
The learner group’s prior knowledge and skills
At this point, the learner group’s prior knowledge and skills are very important because they are the point from which educators should start instructions that will help students to learn fractions and to learn them to manipulate fractions effectively. The prior skills of students involve the understanding and manipulating proper fractions, their ability to calculate multiply, divide, add, and minus proper fractions. In such a way, instructions should meet the current level of the academic development of students. Educators should help students to use their prior knowledge as the ground for the further learning and understanding of fractions.
The demographic information of the learner group
The current educational level of students basically meets the level of the 5th grade, although students have difficulties with fractions which they should manipulate successfully. At the same time, the 5th grade admits that students should learn fractions and to develop skills of their successful manipulation. At this stage of their academic develop, difficulties are quite natural to occur but educators should pay attention to help their learners to tackle problems fast and successfully since they have to learn more and more, while the failure to understand fractions can undermine the further successful learning of students in the field of math and related subjects.
The learner style is also very important because learners may have difficulties with the perception of the learning material, if their learning style fails to match the growing requirements in the course of their learning. The learning style of students should match the learning material students have to learn. What is meant here is the fact that students should be able to use the learning style which facilitates the perception of the learning material and the successful application of the acquired skills and knowledge.
The motivation is another important factor that should be taken into consideration, while developing instructions for students of the 5th grade. The motivation of students helps them to accelerate their learning. However, the 5th grade students have reached the age, when their motivation to learning decreases, while their interest to the communication with their peers increases. To put it more precisely, the interests and motivation of students of the 5th grade shift from learning to their peers. The opinion and relationships with their peers is more important than learning and educators should take into consideration this trend in the behavior of students of the 5th grade. Therefore, educators should motivate students through the motivation of their peers.