NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ920558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Multiple Ways to Solve Proportions
Ercole, Leslie K.; Frantz, Marny; Ashline, George
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v16 n8 p482-490 Apr 2011
When solving problems involving proportions, students may intuitively draw on strategies that connect to their understanding of fractions, decimals, and percents. These two statements--"Instruction in solving proportions should include methods that have a strong intuitive basis" and "Teachers should begin instruction with more intuitive strategies, such as the unit-rate and factor-of-change [that] emphasize learning concepts over learning procedures" (Cramer and Post 1993, rationalnumberproject/93_2.html)--will be explored in light of the various methods that students have at their disposal. In addition to unit rate and factor of change, students can also transition to the equivalent fraction method and the building-up strategy. Although these methods are intuitive, they are inefficient and cumbersome when solving noninteger proportion problems. More structured methods are also available, such as using a ratio table, a graph, the standard algorithm, and cross multiplication. The multiple ways to solve proportional reasoning problems outlined in this article should help teachers meet mathematical challenges within the middle school mathematics classroom. (Contains 6 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A