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From: Loyd <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion Date: 2004091920:58:50 Subject: Unit cost. My father, who only had an eighth grade education plus a little time at a normal school for teachers, was always asking us questions at the dinner table. One which helped me quite a bit at an early age: If eggs are 12 cents per dozen, how much does one egg cost? He taught us to find the price for one item and then it was easy to find the cost for 20 or any number. Of course you can use ratio and proportion and then it is a little easier to find the cost of odd amounts such as: If eggs cost 31 cents per dozen, how much does 72 eggs cost? Using ratio and proportion, it is just 31 is to 12 as x is to 72. Or, 31/12=x/72. Or you can find the cost for one and then multiply by 72 to find the cost for 72. I think simple problems like this are important for young children to learn. It is a simple thing to do once you learn the process. If your students haven't had ratio and proportion yet, you can still give them simple problems that helps them find the unit cost. Now here is a little simple brain teaser you can use: Answer Quickly: "How many 3-cent stamps in a dozen?" Often the answer is four, but of course it is 12. When I first heard that problem, 3 cent stamps were all that was required for first class mail.
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