Multiple Representations, Technology, and Purposeful Questioning: An Exemplar of Teaching 6th Grade Ratios During the Pandemic

Eric Marlowe


The aim of this curriculum project is to provide educators with a comprehensive set of lessons and materials that support the teaching ratios and related concepts remotely using multiple representations and purposeful questioning. Students’ formal education in ratios often begins in the 6th grade and will continue throughout their study of mathematics and the learning of ratios represents an important milestone in a student’s mathematical education. The concept of ratios will appears in various mathematics classes in the form of rates, unit rates, slope, constant rate of change, average rate of change, the derivative and trigonometric ratios to name a few. A strong understanding of ratios is also important in the fields of science and engineering because of their numerous real-world applications. It is thus vital that students gain a strong conceptual understanding of ratios early on through multiple representations such as tape diagrams, double number lines, coordinate planes, and ratio tables. The lessons within this curriculum project incorporate free online learning platforms as well as other learning tools to ensure easy access to material and provide ample opportunity for student engagement. The six remote lessons that accompany this thesis, created during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, can be brought into the physical classroom and used in place of more traditional lessons.