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Setting up and solving proportions is avoided in the Common Core State Standards. Instead, we define a constant of proportionality.
Singapore Math spells it out really well. I learned a lot reading their workbooks.
Proportions are great because they can be related to many real world situations. For example: surveys in the class (how many students are boy/girl, have blue/brown eyes/, use mac/pc?), or test scores that are fractions but then get changed to percents. Also talking about similar shapes and how the lengths of their corresponding sides are in proportion to each other. This is a good visual for students.
The online Digits program by Pearson in 7th grade organizes the unit in this order:
Proportional relationships in tables, then graphs (unit rates seen here) constant of proportionality (seen as slope in an equation, unit rate in graph, in table when x=1) and solving problems using proportions (equivalent fractions where denominator is 1). It was really neat to see all of these concepts linked and proportions were imbedded and not the focus. Maps and scale drawings were taught last within this unit. We were surprised to see this as the second unit of the school year prior to teaching number sense. It will be powerful as the year progresses because we already touched upon equations, graphs, and tables with real life problem solving.
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