Rates and Unit Rates

As I was enjoying my cup o’ joe this morning and snuggling with my 4 year-old discussing DNA (no lie–we were really discussing DNA! Older brother is learning about it in his bio class and little brother likes to do homework with older brother, so do the math), I realized I haven’t blogged for quite some time!  I haven’t done too much that’s particularly awesome in class lately…it’s been hard to get back into it after the holidays.  Call it post-holiday depression…call it cabin fever (CA is getting some AWESOME weather right now and being in the classroom is tough when it’s so beautiful outside)…call it what you will, but my mojo has not been very “mojo-y”.  


I went to the mailbox one Wednesday after getting home from the mad race to pick up kids after school, and as I was walking home with the pile o’ crap that we usually get, I was leafing through everything.  (I don’t usually go through EVERY. SINGLE. THING. but for some reason I did that day).  I really paid attention to the grocery circulars, thinking to myself, “Maybe I’ll start shopping smarter–couponing maybe?”  Yeah right…like I have that kind of time, but the ads did make me think of the unit on ratios and proportional reasoning I had just started with my 7th grade pre-algebra classes.  LIGHT BULB!!!! {add singing angels and streams of light from heaven} I set them aside to use for an activity on rates and unit rates…so much better than a worksheet, right?  YES!  





Here is the link to the directions I made for the activity: https://www.dropbox.com/s/t08sni4fceu4b4u/Finding%20Unit%20Rates%20with%20Grocery%20Ads.docx

The students loved it, and I loved hearing their conversations as I floated around the room (yes, I float.  I’m just awesome that way).  “Oh, this looks so good!” said one student looking at a rib roast.  “Mmmmm….a root beer float sounds really good!” said another student looking at the root beer ad.  And not once did I hear off-topic conversation about the Super Bowl coming up (GO BRONCOS!!), or weekend plans, or anything! They were totally focused on finding rates and unit rates and making themselves hungry looking through those ads.  This is definitely an activity I will use again–and I feel dumb for not thinking of it before!


One thought on “Rates and Unit Rates

  1. Christopher says:

    Yeah. Lots of interesting fun to be had in the grocery store. Recently, we had some fun on Twitter with raisins that were $2.99 for 20 ounces. I wanted a per-pound price and was curious about how others would calculate that.

    Funny story (to this math teacher at least)—one of our local large grocery chains, Cub Foods, likes to give the unit rate for its deals. “4 for $3. That’s 75¢ each!” Fair enough. They continue this practice even for such deals as “10 for $10. That’s $1 each!”

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