Tag Archives: proportion

359. Proportional steps

Just a quick resource upload today.

Image credit: https://www.heyn.co.uk/

I’ve written a step by step resource on how to construct algebraic direct proportion relationships, including the answers.

Small steps in Direct Proportion (docx)

Small steps in Direct Proportion (PDF)

I used this with a Year 11 class who aren’t very confident with algebra. They were surprised by how straight forward the work was and were happy to now attempt problem solving with algebra.

305. Get Carter

Seriously, you need to Get Carter ….

Get Carter 1971 Poster

Or rather head over to the amazing website by Mr Darren Carter: MrCarterMaths.com

I don’t know where to start – in a few clicks you have access to tiered questions on a multitude of topics with answers. Answer in an exercise book or on a mini whiteboard – it’s genius! Another click and the questions change.

If that wasn’t enough, you can print out individual worksheets at each level – differentiation without a headache.

I chose to print out the three tiers and award them points. Bronze = 1 point, Silver = 2 points, Gold = 3 points. I put together a cover sheet with instructions and the students instantly had control of their homework. All I asked for was 20 points of answers. The ones who need the practise can do lots of low scoring questions, the ones who need a challenge can do fewer questions at a harder level. My task is available to download below (full credit to Mr Carter given) – It prints nicely as an A5 booklet.

Tiered Proportion Homework Booklet

Once you’ve visited the site, follow him on Twitter @MrCarterMaths

301. How much is my sandwich?

A visual discussion starter for you:


These three pots of sandwich filling cost £1 each. The flavours are egg mayo, chicken & bacon and cheese & onion.
How much would the 182g chicken filling cost if it weighed the same as the others?
The large pots contain 5 servings and the small pot contains 3 servings – are they the same size serving?

If you zoom in on the picture you could generate your own questions based on the nutritional information eg calories per serving.

You could extend this to the snacks in students’ bags. Are they as healthy as they think?

269. Snappy Proportion

Proportion … it comes in so many forms and different students grasp different elements at different speeds. Differentiation hell!

What about a little resource that offers up 4x8x8 variations of question ranging from simple direct to proportion to inversely proportional to the square? It’s not a new app, it’s an old app – a fortune-teller snapdragon:


Print, cut and fold (see 92. Snapdragon Fun for instructions)

  • The first decision chooses level of difficulty – students pick a number and count through the opening/shutting process.
  • The second gives the information to calculate k (eg y=kx) – the number of open/shut moves is specified.
  • The third asks you to apply your equation to a hidden number.
  • Students increase the level of challenge as they do more questions.

Download the pdf here: Proportion Snapdragon

The editable version is available here: Editable Proportion Snapdragon

You may wish to enlarge the pdf on a photocopier to make it more manageable for bigger hands.

261. Revision Egg Hunt

It’s beginning to look a lot like Easter … scrawny plastic chicks and over-priced chocolate eggs everywhere! This little ‘egg’ of an idea was totally inspired by some lovely Tweeters who mentioned ways to use empty plastic eggs.


I bought these two-part plastic eggs from a local craft shop. They are available from lots of places on the high street and online. My pack has 30 eggs in six different colours. You may be able to see that I’ve numbered the top and bottom of each shell – just to avoid arguments.

Now, I used these eggs for revision with my GCSE class. Each colour represents a different topic. There are 30 questions and the answers are the numbers 1 to 30. I hid the eggs in our main hall due to the unpredictable nature of the British weather. You could hide them inside or outside the classroom and give a prize to the person/group who correctly completes the most questions. Points could be deducted for trying to sabotage other groups. If you don’t feel that adventurous or it’s impossible to go outside, you could copy the questions and do this as a desktop activity.

Sometimes we get tunnel-vision on the focus for passing exams. We keep the ‘fun’ stuff for younger pupils. This revision activity is a treat for my hard-working students in KS4. They aren’t the easiest of topics, but they are perfect for students working at GCSE grade C and above.

1-5 Expanding & factorising quadratics
6-10  Ratio & Proportion
11-15  Straight line graphs (y=mx+c)
16-20  Simultaneous Equations
21-25  Shape problems
26-30 Factors & Multiples

You can download the questions here: Easter revision 30Q
You can download the solution here: Easter revision 30Q Solutions

I was surprised to get feedback from this activity from a form teacher, who said their students had arrived at registration bouncing and saying how much they had enjoyed the lesson!

245. Fair share

I spotted this ‘Expert Tip’ whilst flicking through a supermarket magazine:


Image credit: tesco.com/foodandliving

If this cake has a diameter of 18cm (7in), is this a fair way to split it between guests? Can you prove your result in general terms?

Of course, this assumes that the icing on the side doesn’t count in the diameter or guest preference.

223. Let them eat custard!

This post isn’t a resource, more of a source of ideas. We tell students that maths is about problem solving, but how many problems are fictitious?

Here is a problem, taken directly from ‘real life’ when a friend was making custard on sunday evening.

The question
Do you think the instructions are wrong?

Does 2.75 litres of water seem right? Use the whole packet? How much is in the packet?

The problem

The custard powder had been bought from the wholesalers. It was such good value because it was a catering pack.

  • If the pack weighs 605g, how much would you need for one portion?
  • How much water would you need?
  • How could you decide if 55ml was a decent size portion?
  • How many pint jugs would the fifty-five 55ml portions fill?

If you have access to a wholesaler or talk nicely to the canteen, you will be surprised how much proportion work you can find in catering size value packs

By the way, my friend did a couple of calculations and a bit of estimating resulting in a large, but tasty, bowl of custard.