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Playing with Scale in 6th Grade Math

Playing with Scale in 6th Grade Math

by Evan Spiler, Middle School Math Teacher
 
In 6th grade math this semester, students have been learning how to calculate ratios and proportions. They have explored how these skills relate to things they see and experience in their lives. From recipes, to scientific formulas, to maps and architecture students are learning to apply their skills and knowledge and be creative at the same time. The culmination of this unit was building perfectly measured and scaled items from their everyday lives in order to understand how technical drawings, sculptures, and models are created, as well as the relationship between dimensional and volumetric proportions.
 
In the scale model project, the students' imaginations were on full display. We saw a working, human-sized Sharpie, enormous edible jolly ranchers and granola bars, a 5 foot walkie-talkie with pressable buttons, clay models of stuffed animals, and even perfectly miniaturized, home-baked Krispy Kreme donuts. In the end, a 2x sized piñata was busted open and everybody enjoyed candy and snacks to celebrate a job well done. Way to go 6th grade!
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