Swimming lengths

Purpose

The purpose of this multi-level task is to engage students in using their knowledge of fractions and decimals, and an ability to use operations on these, to solve a problem.

Description of Mathematics

The background knowledge and skills that need to be established before and/or during this task are outlined in the diagram below:

This task may be solved with guidance, breaking the problem into a series of smaller calculations or by the student independently constructing a method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students' skills and depth of understanding.

Activity

Task: A community swimming pool that was built before 1967 is 55 yards in length. It needs to be shortened to 50 m (accurate to the nearest 1/100 of a metre) to be able to be used for official events.

A retired swim coach has said: "55 yards, less one foot, plus one inch, less half an inch should make it right." 

One inch is 1/12 of a foot and one foot is 1/3 of a yard and there are 0.9144m in one yard.

Would his suggestion be within the official requirements for 50 ± 0.01 m?

The procedural approach (show more)

  • The student is able to calculate, with guidance, the original length and the adjustment recommended, in metres, to solve a problem.

The conceptual approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to calculate the original length and the adjustment recommended, in metres, to solve a problem.

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