# Proportions and Action Figures

My fifth graders are in the middle of a unit on ratios and proportions.  Two weeks ago the fifth grade kids worked through a detective mystery.  It was a good start and a decent opportunity for students to explore proportions.  This week my students came back from spring break.  It took a while to get back to our regular schedule after a week off. We had to complete some review on Monday and started a new project today.  I was meaning to start it before break but we ran out of time.  I researched a few different sites (1,2,3) and decided to modified my original project.

The class began by talking about proportions and scale models.  The discussion lasted around five minutes and then we reviewed the concept and vocabulary with a Kahoot  The majority of kids were able to answer the questions using estimation, but many were challenging, which was good because we were able to stop and use different strategies.  Most students wanted to cross-multiply for everything, but by the end of the activity students were starting to see the value in diversifying their strategies.  I felt like spending time on this was worthwhile.  This experience reminded me of a Tweet from #msmathchat from last night.

Afterwards, I introduced the action figure project to the students.  Students measured the dimensions of the action figures.  They measured the figure in millimeters, converted it to centimeters and eventually to inches.

They then measured their own dimensions with a partner and compared them to the action figure.

Many of the students were able to use proportions as a tool to find a solution.  Some students had a bit of trouble tackling the issue of converting the units.  Overall though, students are becoming better and using different strategies to solve proportion problems – an #eduwin in my book.  You can access the files that I used for this project here.

## Author: Matt Coaty

I've taught elementary students for the past 14 years. I enjoy reading educational research and learning from my PLN. Words on this blog are my own.