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During the middle school years, standardized tests begin to become more important as an indicator of future success. Whether or not the student decides to go further than high school to college is sometimes determined by middle school scores. As a consequence of this importance, student anxiety is exacerbated for many and, for some, frustration becomes more evident. This curriculum unit applies word problems as a tool for understanding ratio and proportion. The unit examines a variety of math problems; explores strategies for using them; recommends useful tools; proposes a sample procedure; and suggests resources for further research. My objective is to make my students comfortable with the language of word problems so that when it comes time to take a standardized exam, they can attain success.
(Recommended for Mathematics, grades 7 and 8.)