Examining Technology Uses in the Classroom: Students Developing Fraction Sense by Using Virtual Manipulative Concept Tutorials

Jennifer M. Suh
Patricia S. Moyer
George Mason University

Hae-Ja Heo
Kwandong University


This paper describes a classroom teaching experiment conducted in three fifth-grade mathematics classrooms with students of different achievement levels. Virtual fraction manipulative concept tutorials were used in three one-hour class sessions to investigate the learning characteristics afforded by these technology tools. The virtual fraction manipulative concept tutorials exhibited the following learning characteristics that supported students during their learning of equivalence and fraction addition: (1) Allowed discovery learning through experimentation and hypothesis testing; (2) Encouraged students to see mathematical relationships; (3) Connected iconic and symbolic modes of representation explicitly; and (4) Prevented common error patterns in fraction addition.

About the Author(s)...

Jennifer M. Suh teaches elementary education mathematics methods courses at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and supervises intern teachers for the Professional Development School. She earned her PhD in Mathematics Education Leadership at George Mason University in 2005. In addition to teaching, she has presented research at local, national and international conferences and writes articles for mathematics journals. Her research interests include mathematics education, effective application of concrete and virtual manipulatives in teacher education. She may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Patricia S. Moyer is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Mathematics Education and Director of the Mathematics Education Center at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. She earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. She has authored a book, journal articles, and book chapters, and served as the editor of the Investigations section of NCTM’s Teaching Children Mathematics. Her research focuses on uses of representation in mathematics and mathematics teacher development. She may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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