NA5-4: Use rates and ratios.

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Elaboration on this Achievement Objective

This means students will solve problems involving rates and ratios. In this curriculum rates are defined as a multiplicative relationship between different measures, for example, 24 litres per 60 minutes, while ratios are defined as a multiplicative relationship between identical measures, for example, 30 litres: 40 litres. This distinction is blurred where the measures are of the same attribute, for example, 10mL per 1 Litre, but problems involving unit conversion are delayed until Level Six. In terms of their behaviour problems involving both rates and ratios can be modelled by the equation a/b = c/d where one of the values, a, b, c, or d is unknown or as a situation where a/b and c/d must be compared. Rate and ratios can also be represented by ratio tables or double number lines. For example:

A wallpaper hanger mixes 300 grams of glue powder to every 4 litres of water. She wants to make up 25 litres of paste. How many grams of powder will she need?


At Level Five students are expected to solve problems of this type in which the unknown can be in any of the four positions on the table and in which the scalar within (for example 4 x box. = 25) or between (for example 4 x box. = 300) operators are positive integers or fractions. Students should be able to use equivalent rates to compare two given rates and express the part-whole relationships in ratios as equivalent fractions to compare given ratios. For example, 3 litre orange: 5 litres apple has a stronger orange flavour than 4:6 because the part-whole fractions are 3/8 and 4/10 respectively which have equivalent forms of 15/40 and 16/40.