Proportional Fun

This post highlights a lesson I taught using an internet site (Math Snacks), Sketch Pad 3 – Unlimited Canvas (free app), Proportion Solver (free app), and of course, iPads.

I had a great time today working with students at Nimitz Middle School. The teacher I was working with asked me to use the iPads to teach her students about Ratios and Proportions (specifically, given a proportional scenario, predict the proportion as it increases).

For example:

For every 3 apples Samantha eats, she also eats 5 oranges. If she eats 25 apples, how many oranges would she also eat?

I decided to introduce the lesson by showing the students the Atlantean Dodgeball video at The video is engaging, and does a great job of presenting a real world ratio problem. The students loved it!

After the intro, I asked the students to recall our time using the app called Sketch Pad 3 – Unlimited Canvas. I asked them to set up the proportion in the app so I could be walking around to check on their progress. I did a problem with my iPad connected to the projector first, to show them what I was expecting.

After I set up the problem, and estimated what I thought would be the answer to “x,” I showed them the app called Proportion Solver. This app does exactly what its name implies: it solves proportions. You put in the three numbers the problem gives you, and you press the equal sign. The correct answer is produced, provided you set the proportion up correctly.

I had fun, and I think the students did as well. I had a few students connect their iPads and do some teaching as well. I think that was a hit!

To culminate, I asked the students to email their teacher a PDF copy of their work on the last problem of the day. The lesson was totally paperless.