Front
page > Lesson Plans > Math
> Real
World
> Division
from a Printer's Viewpoint
Division
from a Printer's Viewpoint:
Overview: Commercial
printers deal with division constantly in figuring the number of finishedsize
sheets that can be cut from the large "parent" size sheets they
normally receive from the paper supplier. It's a realworld exercise not
many people are aware of.
Procedure Ideas:
 The procedure is
to divide one dimension of the parent sheet by one dimension of the
finished sheet, then repeat the process for the remaining dimensions.
Then do it all over again, reversing the two finished sheet dimensions,
to get the most economical cut of the paper. So if X and Y are the parent
sheet dimensions, and A and B are the finished sheet dimensions, divide
X by A, and Y by B, then multiply the answers together to get the total
number of sheets. Then repeat the process, but divide X by B, and Y
by A.
 A variation is
to use paper on a roll, figuring both ways to have the least amount
of waste left over after cutting.
 Visualize the process
by drawing the large sheet, indicating where the cuts for the smaller
sheets would be. Draw proportionally, letting one inch equal one centimeter,
to accurately visualize where the waste is, and whether an extra sheet
could be cut from it.
 Parent sheets are
around 23" by 35".
 Combine with an
art project, by calculating the number of feet of rolltype bulletin
board paper needed for each student to have two pieces of 8" by
10" colored paper. Measure and draw with markers to indicate where
the cut lines would be, figured both ways.

