Math Background

Rates: Tips and Tricks

  • Point out to students the many uses of rates in everyday life, such as the prices in stores and theaters, the speeds of cars and airplanes, and the records of sporting events.
  • Encourage students to think, estimate, and predict rates based on a given rate, such as how much 10 roses will cost if 3 roses cost $2.00. Have them discuss different strategies for solving the problem.
  • Facts about money, time, and distance provide meaningful examples of unit rates and ratios in general.
  • A good project for family participation is to have students go to a store and find the unit price for different sizes of the same product. Often, the larger sizes give a better rate, but that is not always the case. It is not uncommon to find larger sizes of a product priced at a higher rate than smaller sizes.
  • Have students organize information about equal rates in a table to help them understand the method of unit rates and equal ratios.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 6