Activities for Teaching Unit Rate

Unit pricing is one of my favorite topics to teach in Consumer Math. There are endless examples of unit prices gone wrong, and they all give me a giggle. But as funny as they can be, it's important for kids to know how to calculate unit rates so that they can determine the best deals. Sometimes, or maybe a lot of the time, the best deal isn't always obvious. In this post are some of the photos I have taken of unit price fails and some unit price activities for students.

Unit rate is one of my favorite topics to teach in Consumer Math. There are endless examples of unit prices gone wrong, and they all give me a giggle. But as funny as they can be, it's important for kids to know how to calculate unit rates so that they can determine the best deals. Sometimes, or maybe a lot of the time, the best deal isn't always obvious.

In this post are some of the photos I have taken of unit price fails as well as some unit price activities I have made for students. Here are some photos I have taken over the years of unit prices gone wrong:

Mathematicians look like all of us project

A couple years ago, I realized that whenever I would talk about the mathematicians who created the math we were doing in class, there were a lot of similarities in the people that I was displaying on the board. In my class, no two students were alike. But every mathematician I was displaying looked the same. The following year, after my students took their end of year exam, I decided to spend the last few weeks of school doing a mathematician project. For this project, I had the students pick from a list of mathematicians that I gave them, fill out a bio sheet, and make a presentation. They got bonus points if they dressed up and presented as their mathematician of choice. I’ve enjoyed learning about mathematicians from around the world. I hope that by sharing with my friends, who share with their friends, and by the people who find me through my hashtag, that people will start to see that mathematicians look like all of us. It is not a field set aside just for European men in powdered wigs. Mathematicians come from all centuries, all countries, and all socioeconomic backgrounds. Mathematicians really do look like all of us!

Like so many awesome math teachers, I met Megan McLean through social media at some point over the last few years. Megan is a teacher all the way on the other side of the US, and with the help of Instagram, I get to feel like she is my colleague next door. Over the last few months, Megan has been researching mathematicians from all over the world and collecting their stories into her Instagram account @mathematicianslooklikeallofus. This post highlights a small sliver of the mathematicians she has found and also links to where we can learn more. Here is Megan's guest post on the work she has done so far on this important project.


Guest post by Megan McLean


Hi! I’m Megan McLean, a Math and Engineering teacher at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Washington. I’ve been teaching for 13 years. In that time, I have taught in the US and also in South Korea, which was an amazing experience. In my former life, I was a Mechanical Engineer having gotten a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho (GO VANDALS!). I became a teacher because I wanted to inspire students to see themselves as mathematicians and to help develop in others the love I have for math.

Digital Math Escape Rooms

Digital Math Escape Rooms

Wowza, what a school year. Whether your students are working independently in your classroom or distance learning from home, I wanted to make some super-engaging digital math activities to get students excited about practicing their math. These new digital math escape rooms have been built in Google Forms with no outside links. The directions are simple -- enter a 4-letter code to advance to the next puzzle -- so students can focus all of their energy on their math.

Because the sudden, widespread need for digital math activities, I updated many of my printable math materials to also include digital versions. You can see those here. I have also recently been creating some digital-only math activities to work in Google Slides and Google Forms. One of the newest activity types I've been making in Google Forms are these digital math escape rooms.

digital math escape rooms

I have been getting some great feedback on these digital math escape rooms

Moving Math Forward: Virtual Math Conference October 2020

I am so incredibly excited to be presenting at the Moving Math Forward conference this fall.  My session “Cultivating Math Confidence” will focus on concrete ways to instill confidence in your math students through your curriculum. I will share the ways I built places into my classes where students could find success and build their math confidence.

I am very excited to be presenting at the Fall 2020 Moving Math Forward virtual conference with 14 other awesome math educators. This will be a 3-day event starting Monday October 5, 2020, with options to attend 1, 2 or all 3 days.

Digital Math Word Walls

Interactive digital math word wall updates for distance learning! All of the digital word wall links are updates to their existing printable math word walls so that you have what you need whether school is face to face, virtual or following a hybrid blended model. You all have been making these amazing bitmoji virtual classrooms to reach students distance learning and keeping your kids connected to their math curriculum, to each other and to school. After lots of thought, I figured out a way to make digital math word walls that can keep students connected to their math vocabulary. I also show how to share a virtual classroom with students so that you can edit your digital math word wall to deliver math notes, math curriculum, math videos or whatever you’d like!

Over the years, I have written a lot about math word walls and how strongly I feel about them. In the classroom, they are an extension of my teaching and give my students the tools they need to work more independently. Our word walls help me to quickly make visual connections to other parts our math curriculum while teaching. During group and independent work, my students know they can access our math word walls for support. I always find myself gushing about math word walls because I know how well they work for my students.

Virtual Math Classroom Decor

Images for your virtual math classroom, including posters and a growth mindset bulletin board. Includes video tutorials for creating your own bitmoji classroom

So much learning has happened these past few months! More than I ever thought possible. If you had asked me in February if I knew what a bitmoji classroom was, I'd have looked at you funny. Now fast forward a few short months later, and I have my own virtual classroom and lots of virtual math classroom decor!