Rates and Proportional Reasoning

I’ve been hyper focused on “rates” and “proportional reasoning” for a project I’m working on. Not that one has to look far and wide either, unit rates and proportions are all around us. We intentionally and inadvertently compare things.

(HA! I didn’t even realize what this product was until I’m cropping and re-sizing them for this post. Really, I was in the same aisle getting lactase pills for my daughter!)

Take a look at this one product and its label. We can cover up just ONE piece of information — price, weight, “14-day” duration, purpose :), etc.  — and go to town on the [estimation] questions. Or, if we’re doing unit conversions, ask “How many grams are in 8.3 ounces?”

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When we have more than one size of the same product, it makes for a great real-world rate/unit rate problem. Prior to showing the image below, we may ask , “How much should a 30-day supply weigh? How much should it cost?”

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And I’m sure we can come up with lots of questions — or have the kids generate them — when we have more images of the same type of product.

Of course we know this already, so the main point of this post is to remind ourselves to capture images of stuff we already interact with daily and bring them into our lessons. Encourage our students to do the same. The stuff that kids see on a cold textbook page (even if they were images of real things) somehow appears removed and foreign to them. Heck, we hook the kids into caring immediately when we introduce these pics [or actual products if we got them] with, “Look, I was up all last night planning for this lesson while enduring a major constipation. So, pay attention.”

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And then there’s this set of images.

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