K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn to effectively use ratios, fractions, decimals, and percents.
  • use the skills in the real world of keeping statistics for a basketball game.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

50 Minutes


clean garbage can, chair, ball of some sort (I use a soft paper and tape ball about the size of a baseball), dice, paper, and pencil

Technology resources

If you would like to speed things up you can use a calculator (I don’t let them use one).


Do a lesson on how to change ratios to fractions to decimals to percents. Students must have knowledge on how to change between the four.


  1. I set the garbage can on a chair at the middle of the chalkboard. The chalkboard is used as the backboard. I have the students take out a blank sheet of paper and section it off into four columns. The sections are ratios (shots made out of shots taken), fractions, decimals, and percents.
  2. I start in the front of the room and let the first person roll the dice. Whatever the total is on the dice is the number of shots the child gets to take. Everyone in the class is to write down that student’s name and keep track of how many shots made per shots taken.
  3. After the child is done shooting the class has to figure out the percent by going through the different columns. Change it from a ratio to a fraction to a decimal to a percent. I do this for each child in the classroom. After each student has finished shooting, I take the two students with the highest average and let them shoot against me for bonus points for the whole classroom. If they shoot better than I do they earn five points on the next test or quiz, whichever is next, for the whole class. I also give the top two a pencil for finishing at the top. This usually lasts the whole class period.
  4. If I start running short on time I just let each student shoot and get a ratio and then tell the students to figure out the rest for homework.


I walk around and look to see that the students are writing down the work and changing properly. Sometimes I collect the papers and grade them on accuracy with their work and answers.

Supplemental information

I kept stats for football, basketball, and baseball in college as well as playing baseball in college. I let the students know that it is very similar to what I had to do with the stats when I was working in college. You may want to give them an idea where this is used in the “real world.”


I like using trashketball as a review for any chapter. I have the students do a review worksheet. In order to be able to shoot the ball in the basket, the child has to answer one of the questions from the review correctly and be able to show and explain the work on the board to the class. If this is done the child gets to shoot the ball from a designated chair in the classroom. If the child makes the shot, five points are added to the next test for that child. If the child misses the shot no points are awarded.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 6

        • Ratios & Proportional Relationships
          • 6.RPR.3Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations. Make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole-number...
      • Grade 7

        • The Number System
          • 7.NS.2Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division and of fractions to multiply and divide rational numbers. Understand that multiplication is extended from fractions to rational numbers by requiring that operations continue to satisfy...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 7

  • Goal 1: Number and Operations - The learner will understand and compute with rational numbers.
    • Objective 1.01: Develop and use ratios, proportions, and percents to solve problems.
    • Objective 1.02: Develop fluency in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of rational numbers.
      • Analyze computational strategies.
      • Describe the effect of operations on size.
      • Estimate the results of computations.
      • Judge the reasonableness of solutions.