My grade 6 students have been struggling with the concept of fractions in their math class. To support their studies in math, I put together a lab investigation involving fractions. For this, our third lab, the students are starting to understand our procedures. On the down side, it is becoming apparent that some members of the class are uninterested in reading and writing, which are important aspects of our programme.

The students measured sucrose and water, as a fraction of a full test tube. These were mixed in a beaker and then poured back into a test tube to measure the fractional final volume. In most cases, it was clear that the volume of solution was more than the original volume of water but less than the sum ov the volumes of water and sugar. This led to questions about the nature of dissolution. I was impressed by some of the models that were constructed, and also by the initiative by some students to examine the effect of water temperature… although unfortunately we ran out of time to explore these.