PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

The Pencil Investigation

Sixth graders have delve deep into a study of ratio and proportions.

Based on the length of a very large pencil, students explored the question, “How tall could the new student be?” Students shared different strategies for solving this proportion. Some used the class average of student heights while other students used the ratio of regular pencils to their own height and some used the ratio of a regular pencil to a large pencil to help them solve. We developed our work by thinking about how the proportion we found help us to answer the following questions:

What would the dimension of a pencil sharpener be?
How tall does the desk need to be?
How could we determine the volume of the students’ backpack?

We will continue to explore proportional relationships.