Exploring Ratios

I’m teaching 6th graders who are taking 7th grade math. I’m mostly using Open Up Resources, but have to fill in some gaps with 6th grade content.

After a super successful experience with Unit 1, I wanted to see how they would approach ratio problems on their own, without instruction.

I gave students this problem:

The Milkshake Problem

Dana’s grandmother is making chocolate milkshakes for a family reunion. The recipe calls for six scoops of ice cream for every four  cups of milk. Dana’s grandmother is planning on using 18 cups of milk. How many scoops of ice cream will she need?

I put them into pairs and told them that I wasn’t super interested in the answer…but I was REALLY interested in how they solved it. I challenged them to solve it in as many different ways as they could.

Most went directly to scaling up by 4.5 and several made the connection to scaled drawings.

When I pushed for more, they came up with a whole host of other methods. Check it out:

The kids shared their thinking and  we looked for connections between all of the strategies. So simple. So satisfying.

The next day, they learned about ratio language and created “I Spy” slide shows inspired by Greta at Count it All Joy.