When introducing the topic of ‘ratio’, I use the mixing of cordial as an illustration that most kids get.
The idea of using 1 part of cordial to 4 parts of water makes sense to them – and they get the idea of equivalence when you mix the cordial in a different sized container (I use the examples of using cups to fill a bottle for a picnic, and using buckets to mix a big batch for a party).
Recently Dan Meyer posted his thoughts on the ideal maths textbook, which would actually be a
digital archive of very interesting mathematical media. This is a great idea, and whilst I don’t have a projector in my classroom yet (although fingers-crossed), it would be something that I would buy/subscribe to. Anyway, there was a challenge in this for me: being mindful of the media I consume and the world around me to collect digital bits and pieces that might help explain a mathematical concept (I commented on Dan’s blog that I missed the opportunity to take a picture of 3m³ of dirt I had delivered). The second, to my mind harder, challenge is to take that item and make a meaningful and engaging connection with a concept being taught in class.
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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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