Asilomar #2: Proportions

Session Title

“Meaningful Mathematics: Using Proportional Reasoning”


Jim Short. District Math Specialist, Oxnard UHSD


Proportions are one of Algebra’s biggest ideas and I was pumped to attend a presentation whose title (at least) shared that ethos. Halfway through I bailed.

First activity: the presenter passed out a cool problem concerning proportional reasoning. My seatmate and I discussed our solutions. Then the audience discussed its solutions, generally affirming everyone, etc.

But then the presenter passed out twelve more problems, all entry-level, and we started running through solutions for each one and, I dunno, the crowd seemed into it (a fight basically broke out over one problem) but if I need anything from a 90-minute stretch, it’s a certain unpredictability.

Which isn’t to say you’ve gotta pull rabbits out of hats and then jump into a harmonica medley, just that, if I can figure out the course you’ve charted for my next ninety minutes, I’m bored.

Presentation Notes

PowerPoint. Bullets came in with what looked to be a “Float” animation. The presenter showed off our work with a document camera.


  • I swear, I’d die if I saw another mid-20’s male ’round here.

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I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.