Fraction Face-Off! is an approach to teaching fractions to at-risk fourth graders using small group tutoring. Tutors are trained to provide supplementary lessons 35 minutes daily for 36 days over a 12-week period. The tutors are either teachers or paraprofessionals. They follow structured manuals with lesson guides and materials, and receive a week of initial training, followed by two hour-long follow-ups each week. Lessons have a sports theme, and make extensive use of cooperative learning. Tutors introduce concepts, skills, problem-solving strategies, and procedures, and then students work in groups, sharing solutions and helping others. The content emphasizes comparing, ordering, placing fractions on number lines, and equivalencies.
Two 12-week studies in Nashville evaluated Fraction Face-Off! in comparison to ordinary teaching without supplemental lessons. Most measures did not qualify for review because they were made by the experimenters. The one exception was a measure composed of 19 items taken from past National Assessment of Educational Progress tests. On this measure, Fraction Face-Off! had an average effect size of +0.51, qualifying it for the ESSA “Strong” category and for a “Solid Outcomes” rating (at least two studies with effect size of at least +0.20).
Paraprofessional or certified tutors to work with small groups
Sites schedule a 1-day tutor training workshop to be conducted on site by the program trainer. Training materials, including program manuals, are shipped to the training site (typically the school or district). Costs for the workshop are $1500, plus trainer’s travel expenses.
The tutor training workshop provides detailed program information, an overview of background research and theory, trainer modeling, and tutor practice. Trainees also are provided materials highlighting program information and implementation requirements and guidelines. Tutors practice entire lessons using program manuals, scripts, and supporting materials. The trainer provides instruction and feedback to tutors on techniques, procedures, and lesson content coverage.