In seventh grade, the students applied their knowledge of ratios, proportions, and scale to a project where they had to produce a scaled version of a regular playing card. The purpose of the project was to have the students apply their understanding of proportions to a real task and for students to develop an appreciation for the feature on tablets and phones where they can just pinch to enlarge and/or shrink a map or image. These are seemingly simple features that require a great deal of mathematics to make functional and accurate.
I like this project because there are many ways for students to customize their experiences and provide differentiation. They could add difficulty in the value of the card, the suit, the scale factor, and whether or not they did the whole or just part of the card. Artistic ability is not required to succeed on this assignment, but it is an opportunity for those who have an interest in artistic expression to share their interest. It brings a little color and fun to the walls of the classroom!
Friday, March 17, 2017
Sixth grade is moving into an exciting part of the year where we move from computation to more conceptual work. We are reviewing the concept of ratios with a hands-on activity with a box of Froot Loops.
Students were asked to estimate the total number of Froot Loops in the 12.2 oz box of Froot Loops. The box was divided up amongst the students and they had to catalog and count each color. The students made adjustments to their estimates for the full box and made estimates for the total number of each color in the box. We briefly discussed this as a way to do sampling to estimate the total box of Froot Loops.
I took this opportunity to show the class the power of spreadsheets. We used Google Sheets to collect our class data. Then we used formulas for sum to find totals of each color and for each student. We applied our knowledge of fractions and percents to turn the totals into percents. They also saw the power of the spreadsheet to generate a bar graph of our data. The class was curious to compare their data to previous years data sets and made interesting observations. Students reflected upon their experience and saw how using ratios was helpful in refining their estimating. They were happy because they enjoyed ingesting their data set after we were done!