Most students in the inner city have a need to have abstract concepts make solid for them to comprehend. An example of this is in how to teach scaling for architectural drawings to drafting class students.
A large percentage of inner city High School students have trouble with math in general and scaling in particular. In an architectural drafting class it is vital for students to grasp the basics of scaling before they can start their work.
The way to do this is to you use verbal illustrations in your lectures about scaling. If you make your illustration so that the content is in high contrast you will have very good results in students understanding what you are trying to teach.
For example, when you are giving instruction on the different fractions to plug-in for scales on a drawing use examples that have extremely large numbers such as the solar system. The students can visualize the solar system and they will agree that it is large. Ask the students if a scale of ¼” would be appropriate to fit an image of the solar system on a 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper and they will quickly see your point.
Using large numbers with implied images (such as the solar system) makes solid and clear the concept of scale. Scaling is an abstraction that is easy to understand but difficult to implement. In closing it is wise to tell the class that the size of the paper determines the scale.