We just started a new chapter in our Go Math textbooks, and the good news is that it starts out really easy.
The bad news is it starts out a little too easy. So easy that it gets dull really quickly.
According to the Common Core standard 6.RP.A.1 , students must understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. The most logical (and the most common) way to introduce the concept of a ratio is to use drawings or models.
To introduce the concept, I always have my students compete in the Ratio Scavenger Hunt. I allow the students to work on their own or in pairs as they search for ratios around the
room. For example, what’s the ratio of kids to desks? What’s the ratio of girls to boys? Kids will understand ratios when they finish this 10 min introduction. Almost 9,000 people have downloaded the scavenger hunt. Visit the link above to get your free copy today!
After our Scavenger Hunt, instead of spending all class period just drawing models or building them, I searched for online ratio activities that would be fun for my sixth graders. I wanted to keep them engaged and interested, and I wanted them to be able to “level up” to more challenging ratio model activities.
As I wrote earlier, I make online study guides for my students. I’m including a copy of my current chapter study guide here, if you’d like to download it and check it out. Today, I let my student check out all of the 4.1 games, and they loved them!
At SoftSchools.com , students can model ratios in the Ratios Coloring game . Students are receive a prompt, and they can select the appropriate colors to draw the given ratio. They have to follow the rule that the order of the ratio matters! Students are also introduced to equivalent ratios. For example, they may be prompted to model 5:1 , but they may need to color the equivalent ratio of 10 red stars and 2 green stars in to advance to the next round.
Over at IXL.com , students are presented with a ratio model, and they need to identify the ratio being modeled. I like this site because it is the reverse of the ratio coloring game shown above, plus it shows students how to write ratios with a colon, instead of just using the word “to”. This site also provides students with both part-to-whole and part-to-part ratios. Unfortunately, students are limited to 20 questions per day on IXL, unless they have an account, but 20 questions is plenty of practice.
Their favorite site of the day was Ratio Rumble, at MathSnacks.com . It reminded me a lot of Candy Crush or Bejeweled, both of which my students enjoy. Students get to select an avatar and follow the ratio “recipe” to make a “potion”. Each ratio is comparing one color of potion to another color, so essentially, students are modeling ratios. The game is really addicting!
As students level up, the recipes get progressively more complex, so students get an extra challenge that they’re actually excited about, instead of having it just feel like more work.
Be sure to check out the other ratio and rate games on our ratio and rate study guide! And if you have other fun ways of introducing ratios, let me know in the comments.