To decompose means to break apart. Your child has already decomposed whole numbers with number bonds, tape diagrams, and place value charts. In fourth grade, he will decompose fractions. Three-eighths is a fraction. We can decompose three-eighths into parts using a tape diagram as the visual model.
In third grade, your child will represent fractions in pictures, number bonds, and on a number line. These drawings, or models, allow your child to develop a visual understanding of what fractions really are. Remember, the fraction one-third means that three equal parts make up one whole. How do you represent fractions on a number line? In third grade, your child will begin by placing fractions between zero and one.
When a whole is broken into equal parts each part is a fraction. Each part of this fraction is one-half. Your child will draw tape diagrams as a visual tool to help him break apart one whole. In third grade, your child will break one whole into two equal parts, three equal parts, four equal parts, six equal parts, and eight equal parts. Let’s solve a third grade word problem: Braydon had pizza for lunch.