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Algebra Students Study Proportions

How many packets of sugar are in a 20 oz. soda? As part of their study of proportions, math teacher Kristina O’Connor asked her algebra students to find the answer to this question during a recent lesson. After watching a commercial that aired in the state of New York, students were asked three questions: 1.How much sugar is in a 20oz bottle of soda? 2.What is your guess? 3.What information do you need to know in order to answer the question? Students brainstormed aloud and gave estimates of the number of packets in a soda. They then determined the mathematical information they needed to find their answers.  O’Connor then showed students two nutrition labels, one for a bottle of soda and one for a packet of sugar. Students used the nutrition labels to figure out the proportions, which they wrote on their plexiglass desk dividers.