Reflection: Student Ownership Market research - Section 2: Warm up


One great result of handing over the problem to the students and having them figure it out rather than showing them step by step is that they ask more questions that lead to deeper understanding. They feel more invested and this sparks their curiosity.

This problem lead to a great discussion about why we use percents in the first place. When one of my students wondered why the company didn't survey the same number of teens as adults I realized he was approaching the idea of standardizing the measurement so the data could be more easily compared. I decided to follow his line of questioning to help my class make sense of why percents and equivalent fraction are helpful and how they relate to problems we have to figure out in the world.

To follow his thinking I asked him to share his question with the class for discussion. Putting his idea center stage sent the message that questions are important for learning. I asked them to and make some decisions about his idea.

  • "Should the company have surveyed the same number of teens and adults?"
  • "Why would that have been better?"
  • "Since they didn't, what can we do to make comparing easier?"

The class agreed that it would have made it easier to compare if the same totals had been surveyed. However, another student brought up the idea that the more people are surveyed the more the information could be trusted. We were also able to have a conversation about why they think mathematicians came up with the idea of percents and why they thought percents would be helpful and also why mathematicians decided on 100 as the standard measure. After exploring my students question they had a much deeper understanding of the purpose of percents.

  Student Ownership: Why are we ever going to need this?
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Market research

Unit 7: Percent proportions
Lesson 5 of 16

Objective: SWBAT use percent to test for proportionality.

Big Idea: Students will compare quantities using ratio and percent.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, equivalent fractions, real world, peer instruction, percent proportion, ratios, pattern, student led inquiry, collaborative groups
  54 minutes
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