RATES Project

Real-world Applications Teaching Everyday Solutions

Curriculum being developed by Jim Olsen and Megan Orton at Western Illinois University


This curriculum was recently completed and we are testing its effectiveness. If you wish to use this curriculum we request that you help us measure its effectiveness (see below).

Why we created this curriculum - Understanding rates is important for multiplicative, proportional, and algebraic reasoning. These are important concepts in number sense, measurement, and algebra.  Students need to be able to work flexibly with rates to be successful on the 8th grade Achievement test (e.g., ISAT, in Illinois), on high school tests (e.g., ACT and the PSAE, in Illinois), and in Life.

Purpose and Goal - The purpose of this project is to increase student understanding of rates and students’ ability to use rates flexibly to solve real-world problems.  Our goal is to help teachers and students realize the importance of teaching and learning about rates and provide them with curriculum materials for teaching and learning about rates in the classroom.

Seventh Grade* Curriculum

This is a 14-week, Problem-of-the-Day curriculum designed for seventh grade students. It is designed to be done three days per week. Worksheets are designed to be done in 10 minutes or less per day. The quizzes take about 15 minutes. The Pretest and Posttest take about 50 minutes. The Pretest and Posttest contain a no-calculator and calculator-allowed portions.

The curriculum is based on 9 Objectives (which are further broken down, making a total of 29 sub-objectives). This curriculum related closely to the frameworks of the 8th grade (Illinois) ISAT, ACT, and (Illinois) PSAE Work Keys. We used the following guiding principles for writing questions and instructional materials to write the curriculum.

The curriculum consists of:

Download the Curriculum Here:

*This was formerly provided as an eighth grade curriculum. Under the Common Core State Standards, this curriculum is now recommended for seventh grade. Change made 7/13/2012.

Request - Help us measure the effectiveness of this curriculum

If you wish to use this curriculum you may do so, at no charge, but we request that you send us the pretest, posttest, and quiz results so that we can measure the effectiveness of this curriculum. Please e-mail Jim Olsen if you wish to use this curriculum. When you send the test and quiz results to us please use student numbers and do not include student names.

Handout from our NCTM Presentation in Washington, DC on April 25, 2009.

Page URL: http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfjro1/wiu/RATES/index.htm
Page updated: July 15, 2012
©Copyright James R. Olsen, Ph.D. and Megan L. Orton, Mathematics Department, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455