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					                    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

   Internet access, 10 x 10 grid.

Using the Activity
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.

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
                    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.

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

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.

Playground Percentages website
Page 1 picture is a snap shot of the Playground Percentages program.

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.

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