So in my class I thought up a good uses of technology in a “flashes of insight” late last night.  One idea was to come up with a way to have the students play around with the ideas of what mixtures of juice would be orangey-er than others.

This is from the Proportional Reasoning Task from the Shell Center. Click the image to see the full task

I had my Transition Math students work on this yesterday, but I didn’t have a lot of success. This class is for students who typically “get-by” in math, and will probably have trouble understanding the basics of algebra, like proportional reasoning.  Virtually all of them have said some form of “I never understood fractions!”

The trouble yesterday was partially because so many kids only saw me as an answer, and didn’t trust each other enough to justify one juice mixture being more “orangey” than the other. Without a way to really check and see if their strateg was right, they didn’t really see a way to reason through to deciding which cards should be in what order. So I tried a couple things. One thing was showing a video of orange juice concentrate just to make sure they weren’t confused by the concept of juice in a can (a student yesterday was horrified by it). I also had them do a gallery walk of each others work, and I tried to talk through a comparison of a few juice listings on the board.

After class today I created the little tool so that kids could experiment with the different colors and test to see which is more “orangey”. I think I will have students get on their laptops and compare two different versions of the tool and compare their answers in that way. I still need to do some work on it but It seems pretty useful.

Here is the counter:

Original code is here:

Now I need to work on what happens when students use this to compare different kinds of juice mixtures. I will come back here and post some results and student thinking when I can.  Let me know if you can think of any intersting questions that could be explored by using this.