Little to no information exists explaining the nature of conceptual gaps in understanding fractions for students with learning disabilities (LD); such information is vital to practitioners seeking to develop instruction or interventions. Many researchers argue such knowledge can be revealed through student’s problem-solving strategies. Despite qualitative differences in thinking and representation use in students with LD that may exist, existing frameworks of student’s strategies for solving fraction problems are not inclusive of students with LD. This exploratory study extends existing literature by documenting the strategies students with LD use when solving fraction problems. Clinical interviews were conducted with 10 students across the third, fourth, and fifth grades (N = 10). Results indicate students with LD used similar strategies as previously reported in research involving non-LD students, although the dominant strategy utilized was less advanced and the range of strategy use was relatively compact. Researchers suggest the nature of conceptual gaps students with LD display in their understanding of fractions originates from a malleable source. Implications for instruction and assessment are presented.
Hunt, J.H. and Empson, S. (2014). Exploratory Study of Informal Strategies for Equal Sharing Problems of Students With Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 38(4), 208-220.