Exploring Unit Rates
Have students research local grocery ads online and take notes on current sales collaboratively in a Google Drive document or spreadsheet. Students can work together to regroup or color-code similar items across stores. Ask the driving question: How can we tell which store has the best deals? Lead students to concept of a unit price: if we can figure out how much 1 unit of something costs, we can determine which price is the best deal.
2 Direct Instruction
Teach students how to compute a unit rate by using equivalent ratios. Play with the structure your examples to support your students' understanding - you might use equivalent fractions, ratio tables, or simple verbal statements, e.g. "If it costs $1.69 for 5 potatoes, then it costs ______ for 1 potato." Use examples of similar sales that they found in their research, then calculate and compare the unit rates together. While you are working through problems directly, students can use color or text tags to note which store had the best deal for each sale.
3 Guided Practice
Think Through Math is ideal for individual guided practice on skills. As they complete practice problems about unit rates, students are given instant feedback about correct and incorrect answers. If students are struggling with the concept, they can work with an automated or live teacher for 1-on-1 help. Think Through Math also has an emphasis on story problems, which helps students get more familiar with the language of unit rate tasks.
4 Independent Practice
Once students have a solid grasp of a skill, IXL is a great site for independent practice. Students still receive feedback if they give an incorrect answer, but IXL's style of practice is much more suited to students who already have a good understanding of concepts and are ready to show their mastery.
After students have practiced on other unit rate problems, bring the topic home by conducting a Q&A on TodaysMeet. Some questions you might ask your students: Which store had the best deals overall? How did you decide on one store that was the best? What math did you do to determine which store had the best sales?
After you've discussed the specific task, lead your students to generalize their learning and reflect on the real-world implications. Where else do we see unit rates in our real lives? Why is it important to know what a unit rate is and how to calculate it?
Key Standards Supported
Ratios And Proportional Relationships
Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. For example, “This recipe has a ratio of 3 cups of flour to 4 cups of sugar, so there is 3/4 cup of flour for each cup of sugar.” “We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger.”1
Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
Solve unit rate problems including those involving unit pricing and constant speed. For example, if it took 7 hours to mow 4 lawns, then at that rate, how many lawns could be mowed in 35 hours? At what rate were lawns being mowed?