Maths Investigation: Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

This term has been consumed with fractions, decimals and percentages and my students have loved it…surprisingly! I need to ensure that I taught the skills my students needed but there was nothing stopping us having some fun along the way.

This unit was aimed at my able mathematicians with Year 6-8 concepts in mind. After teaching and practicing the taught concepts, I created two short projects for my students, one opportunity to work collaboratively and another to work independently to ensure that they had consolidated their new skills. The great thing about each of these investigations is that each student/collaborative group produced different results. I enjoy watching my students work on these types of tasks as I rarely see them compare their project to another when the results can vary so much. This takes the pressure of the ‘perfect/correct’ end result and instead, puts the focus on the steps taken throughout the project.

How did it go in distance learning?

The short answer is great! The collaborative opportunity got my students talking, respecting teamwork and each other’s strengths and laughing. The independent task ensured that students could use the skills they had learnt and the ability to connect fractions, decimals and percentages.

Maths Investigation 1: Plan an end of term celebration.

This investigation asks students to plan an end of term celebration with a focus on decimals and percentages. Students must use items from Sarah’s Savy Store to plan their celebration and apply the specified discounts (Please note that I have taken the items for Sarah’s Savy Store from the Coles website). This task could be used to evaluate the following skills:

  • Setting and maintaining a budget.
  • Using decimals to work with money including addition and subtraction.
  • Using percentages to calculate discounts.
  • Reflecting on completing this task collaboratively.

Maths Investigation 2: Design a school.

This investigation asks students to design a new school with a focus on fractions, decimals and percentages. In distance learning, my students had the option to complete this task using pen and paper or digitally and the results varied. It could be used to evaluate the following skills:

  • Using a number line to display fractions, decimals and percentages.
  • Converting fractions, decimals and percentages.
  • Addition and subtraction.
  • Mapping and location.
  • Scale.
Thinking routine, the suitcase teacher, teacher blog, teaching blog, maths challenge

This investigation includes:

  • Investigation instructions (pdf)
  • Investigation Record Sheet (pdf) (word)
  • Design A School instructions (png)
  • My Reflection Thinking Routine (png)

To extend this task further

How I finished off this topic

I’m a fan of using thinking routines to gather the thoughts of my students and for this topic, I used the routine ‘Initial Thinking – Bridge- New Thinking’. This routine asked students to record what they thought of the topic before they started and what they think of the topic now. The part I pay particular attention to is the ‘Bridge’ part, this asks students to connect their thinking and consider what has changed their thinking. See my other thinking routine template here .

I hope you will enjoy these investigations with your class as much as I have!

Please feel free to pop back and leave a review or feedback, much appreciated!


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