Currently in Grade 8 Math we are working on ratios, rates and proportions. Last week, through a series of lessons, scaffolding was used to increase students understanding of the concepts. This week students were given an assignment called “Let’s Plan a Feast”. The Original Plan Students would be given specific items and assigned to a grocery store. From here, in their groups, students would use flyers/the stores website to determine the cost of each item. They would then calculate the unit price of each of the items. Once all groups were finished the class would engage in a conversation to determine the cheapest store to shop at for each of the items. But did you know that grocery stores make it impossible to determine the prices of specific items through their website (with the exception of Wal-Mart)? Well, now you do. The Reality After determining that students would not be able to go online to determine the prices of the various menu items, which doesn’t even account for the unreliable Internet/technology we have available to us at the best of times, I had to reconsider my plan. Instead students were given the choice of many different flyers from various grocery stores (and had to choose two). Students were also given the autonomy in this activity to create their own menu, just as long as the item could be found in the flyer for both grocery stores. We are no longer comparing specific menu items at various stores, but rather we will have a significantly more organic discussion about what they learned and how this can be applied to their day-to-day life. Students were already engaging in conversations around which stores offered better unit prices. Hearing students involved in these conversations is exactly what I was aiming for. Not only are they able to calculate the unit prices for an item, but also they are able to understand exactly what it means in determining the more cost effective option. Tomorrow we will finish our discussion and each group will create a poster, which answers the following questions:
- In general, what did you learn from this activity?
- Why is having an understanding of unit price important?
- Is it better to use unit price when you need a large or small amount of something? Explain
My hope is that students will be able to recognize the cost saving benefits there are to understanding the concept of unit price as they get older and begin to shop for their own groceries or host dinner parties. Until next time, Mr. B