5th Grade Honors Math

Dear Families,

Welcome to the Project M3 unit, Fun at the Carnival: Using Proportional Reasoning. Our class is looking forward to exploring this middle school topic. We will investigate the meaning of ratio and proportion and connect these concepts to applications in geometry. We will use scale drawings to enhance our understanding of similarity, equivalent ratios, and scale factors. A scale drawing of a figure can be a reduction of an original drawing (e.g., house plan) or an enlargement of an original drawing. This unit is situated at a Carnival where students investigate a Fun House, complete with mirrors that enlarge, reduce and distort images!

Students first draw similar and congruent shapes as they explore the mathematical meaning of “similar.” One favorite lesson is where students create a giant picture of Juggles the Clown, one of the clowns at the carnival. They learn about scale factors and apply what they know to create a huge poster! Through this and other activities, they learn how similarity is related to scale drawings and what happens to a scale drawing when the scale factor is greater than 1, equal to 1 or less than 1. Students also get an opportunity to explore what happens to the perimeter, area, or volume of a similar figure. They discover patterns and relationships, make conjectures, and support their claims. In fact, they are working just like mathematicians!

A final activity focuses on a game, “Let the Fun Begin!”, designed to apply all of the skills learned in the unit. Students must answer challenging questions on Mystery Cards about ratio, congruency, similarity, scale factor, perimeters, areas, and volumes of similar figures. Students write their own Mystery Cards for the game as well.

At the heart of all Project M3 investigations are problem solving, reasoning, and creative thinking. When students use these mathematical practices, they think and act like mathematicians. This helps them gain a deep understanding of the mathematics and develops their mathematical talent.

I hope your child enjoys exploring this unit and the mathematical challenges it poses. I invite you to share in the discoveries your child makes by engaging in conversation around the family dinner table. You may even learn something new about similar figures and scale factors from your young mathematician!


Mrs. McGee