Design Your Own School VELS Level 4 Task Description The students design a school on a 10 x 10 grid, incorporating different features such as classrooms and playground. The students calculate the percentage of each feature of the school and the equivalent ratio, fraction and decimal. Length of Task 60 minutes Materials Internet access, 10 x 10 grid. Using the Activity Introductory The teacher presents the online program Playground Percentages to the class on the interactive whiteboard. The program allows students to design their own school based on a certain percentage of the school area (a 10 x 10 grid) covered by playground, classrooms, toilets, canteen, garden, library, car park. Each cell on the grid represents 1% of the total area. The teacher asks the students how each of these features may be expressed as a ratio, fraction and decimal. Main Activity The teacher gives each student a blank copy of the grid and invites them to design their own school. The teacher encourages the students to consider the number of students in their school, the number of classrooms required and a playground that can accommodate the student population. The students record each feature (playground, classrooms, etc.) in an equivalency table as a ratio, percentage, fraction and decimal. The teacher runs a ‘workshop’ at the front of the class. The workshop allows students having difficulty with the task to self-select for further assistance with the teacher. Reflection The students share their school design, the equivalency table and justify the use of space in relation to the student population. Key Mathematical Concepts Calculating ratios through comparison of area. Representation of simple ratios as percentages, fractions and decimals. Prerequisite Knowledge Understanding of simple ratios and their representation as fractions, decimals and percentages. Design Your Own School Links to VELS Dimension Standard Number (Level 4) Students use decimals, ratios and percentages to find equivalent representations of common fractions (for example, 3/4 = 9/12 = 0.75 = 75% =3 : 4 = 6 : 8). Working Mathematically Students use the mathematical structure of problems to (Level 4) choose strategies for solutions. They explain their reasoning and procedures and interpret solutions. They create new problems based on familiar problem structures. Assessment To be working at Level 4, students should be able to: Use ratio to compare the relationship between quantities. Use ratios to find equivalent representations of percentages, fractions and decimals. Extension Suggestions For students who would benefit from additional challenges: Using an aerial map of the school, the students calculate the features of their school (see Ratio of Buildings to Playgrounds task – insert link). The students include an equivalency table noting the percentage, ratio, fraction and decimal that each feature covers the school site. Building on the information above, the following question is posed, ‘A baby boom has occurred in your local area. Over the next five years the school population will grow by 25%. Redesign your school to incorporate the extra facilities your school will require. State the percentage, ratio, fraction and decimal each feature will cover in your new school site plan.’ Students investigate the features of their local area. How much of the neighbourhood is utilised by residential housing, shops, recreational areas, roads, community facilities (schools, hospitals, fire station, police station etc). Students complete an equivalency table noting the percentage, ratio, fraction and decimal that each feature covers in the neighbourhood. Teacher Advice and Feedback The teachers were pleased that all students were able to commence the task without further instruction and were highly engaged. Potential Student Difficulties Most of the students were able to complete the percentage and fraction equivalents but had difficulty with the decimal component. Few students attempted the ratio equivalents. To assist these students, the features of the school could be broken down into buildings and non-buildings (playgrounds, sporting fields, car park and gardens). As the students develop their understanding of the decimal and ratio equivalents an extra feature could be Design Your Own School included in/added to the task. For example: classrooms, other buildings (library, toilets etc.) and non-building areas could be compared. Source Playground Percentages website http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/primary/mathematics/k6/programmi ng/program_support/fractions/fract_learnobj/l133/index.html Page 1 picture is a snap shot of the Playground Percentages program. Acknowledgements Thank you to the teachers and students from Lloyd Street Primary School for providing valuable feedback on the use of this activity. Design Your Own School Playground Percentages The teacher and students are designing their ‘model’ school with the help of the Playground PercentagS Student Work Samples Example 1: Working at Level 4 This student is incorporating the different features of the school in the design. The percentages, ratios, fractions and decimals for each feature are added once the final design is in place.