One of the first things I realized after becoming a math teacher in my very first Algebra 1 summer school course was that students

Kids that

But things might start to fall apart sometimes when students have to set up the proportions themselves in a situation not neatly laid out for them in "word problem" format.

Here are two such attempts that I used in my Algebra 1 class this past week. One is about troop reduction in Afghanistan, and the other is about "total percentage of weight loss" and trying to win the reality show

*love*to cross multiply. You stick a fraction on the board and ask something like, "Okay, what next," and you will most certainly get some kids that are dying to cross multiply.Kids that

*only*know how to cross multiply*love*to get exercises like this:
And they're probably even pretty comfortable with this:

But things might start to fall apart sometimes when students have to set up the proportions themselves in a situation not neatly laid out for them in "word problem" format.

Here are two such attempts that I used in my Algebra 1 class this past week. One is about troop reduction in Afghanistan, and the other is about "total percentage of weight loss" and trying to win the reality show

*The Biggest Loser.*

**WAYS TO MODIFY THESE PROBLEMS:**

- You could increase the rigor in both of these problems if you did not initially give either of the numbers I hand out (8000 and 51%, respectively) and instead, had your students figure out what number would be relevant to finding a solution that would satisfy the problem. After deciding what information was needed and/or relevant, students could do a web search to find the information for themselves.
- Have an extension question exploring these ratios in a different way.
- The Afghanistan troop numbers could be compared to Iraq or previous deployments this century in Afghanistan.
*The Biggest Loser*problem could ask students to compare Jerry to other seasons to see if he would have won those years. You could have students set up "teams" of*Biggest Loser*contestants and find the proportions of weight loss necessary to defeat other fantasy teams from previous*Biggest Loser*seasons.

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Thanks for sharing!