What do you think of this way of teaching fractions?
From all that I have heard, it seems that the introduction of fractions marks the point where a great many students turn off to math. There is therefore good reason to concentrate on how they are taught.
Doing arithmetic with fractions is something that is completely alien to the young students first seeing them. I do not ordinarily advocate mathematical formalism in K-12 education, but I think this is one case where it may work.
Then show how numbers can be represented as arithmetic operations. It is not just that you have the equation 2+2=4, the = means identical. 2+2 is another way of representing 4.
Secondly, introduce the fraction bar as simply meaning division. Start working with fractional representation of whole numbers, like 2/1 and 6/2. Do arithmetic with whole numbers represented in fractional form. The advantage of this is that students can check their work. To add 6/2 and 8/4 in fractional form, find the common denominator to get 12/4 + 8/4 = 20/4 = 5, which is what we would expect.
Finally, say that we are going to represent one half as 1 divided by 2, or ½. We are going to extend our arithmetic of whole numbers to include these new types of numbers, using the same rules. Then show how they behave as expected. 2*½ = 2/2 = 1. 3 + ½ = 7/2, which is between 6/2 and 8/2, that is between 3 and 4, as we would expect. I think that something along these lines would make students more comfortable with working with fractions.