Introducing Ratios - Stations

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SWBAT compare two related quantities and represent the ratios in a variety of formats.

Big Idea

To understand the concept of ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities.


10 minutes

In order to activate prior learning, the students will use their memory box tool.  Have students draw a square on a piece of paper. The size of the square does not matter.  Give students time to think (no writing) about what they learned about ratios and ratio language from the prior day (I usually tell them I’m going to give them 20 seconds to think).  Once their time is up, have them write down everything they remember about ratios. (Give them 3 minutes). When the time is up, allow them to look at their notes for 1 minute.  Tell them to close their notes and add to their list (1 minute).  Once this is done, explain to the students that you are going to do an “I have that”.  Students will read aloud something from their box.  If the students have it, they will reply in unison “I have that”.  If they don’t have it, they will add it to their list.  Once an idea has been shared it needs to be marked off the list so there are no repeats.  Have students add their memory box to their notes. 


60 minutes

The students will be rotating through 3 Stations during this lesson.  They will be working at the computers, independently, and with me in small groups.  The small groups consist of approximately 8 students.  It will be necessary to have a computer/student. I like stations because it allows me to sit with every student to assess understanding while working with less students.

Teacher station:

The students will be working with me on developing the language of ratios.  This is a continuation of the prior days learning.  My goal is to give them more exposure to ratios so the understanding becomes deeper.  For each ratio I give them, they will need to model it with uni-fix cubes (or other manipulative), describe its relationship, explain what it means and to extend the learning, I would like them to explain it another way (equivalent ratios). Each student will work on the same problem at the same time so I can easily assess any areas of concern.  For example, if you can buy 4 I tunes downloads for $8, I want them to model the ratio with manipulatives, then students should be able to say "for every 4 I tunes I can buy, I have to pay $8.  Then I want them to look at the manipulatives again to see if they can model it another way.  Students should see that "for every 1 I tunes download, they have to pay $2.  This type of learning supports mathematical practices 2 and 5.  The only ratio that may trip them up is the 4 out of 5 dentists like Trident problem.  This problem cannot be simplified so they will have to make an equivalent ratio by continuing the pattern. 

Independent station:   Games at recess: The students will be working on a problem from illustrative The problem has them looking at a ratio and manipulating it to change it for different scenarios.  I’m including the original version of the problem. Students will need to model their thinking and understanding with the use of visuals and explanations.  Collect this from the students for evidence of student learning.

Computers:  I will be using the same video from the prior day’s learning.  This time the students will view the video and work independently. Management tip:  during the computer station, I always like to have the computer screen facing me so I can monitor what they are doing. 


15 minutes

I am going to have students complete a comprehension menu.  A comprehension menu allows students to respond to 4 different types of questions all involving ratios.  It allows me to see where the student’s mathematical reasoning is and to assess their general thinking skills. This can be used as a formative assessment and collected for evidence of student learning.  If time permits, students can work with a partner to discuss and refine their responses

Additionally, to further assess learning styles, you could ask students to put a mark by the one they were most comfortable understanding.