Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Making Math Practical

Math is a huge part of daily life and is everywhere we look even when we can't see it. Being able to show students how and where it exist can bring a practicality to the subject which can further engage the students. When students can see that math is all around their daily lives and interests they become more invested in the learning because it can be about them.

Math is being used in everyday sports to help teams win is growing everyday. One of the most notable is shown in the movie Money Ball which is about "Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players." Sports is a huge part of society and can be easily relate able for a lot of students so being able to show how math is being used and creating assignments and lessons that intertwine the curriculum and sports that interest the students.

When looking at working with percentages a strategy often used is grocery shopping because of the tax that is add and also the percent that is taken off for sales. I think this is a great way to teach students because it not only provides the students knowledge of how to work with percentages but gives the students a chance to understand the cost of living. I think we need to expand on this because most students are not really all that interested in grocery shopping in grade 7 to grade 10, but are interested in shopping (clothes, video games, technology, sporting gear, ect) these are the things we should also use because that is what is considered practical to them.

Here is a great video talking about making math meaningful (see the world mathematically) and making it understandable. http://www.edutopia.org/dor-abrahamson-applied-mathematics-video

Making math practical means making math meaningful to each student, it is hard to learn and to want to learn any subject if you you can not connect with the material, it is our job as teachers to find what the class can connect with and make math practical for them in order for each student reach their full potential. Create intrigue in math by using what the students are already intrigued by.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Ian, You are right, trying to make math meaningful by using shopping is a great way for students to understand the applications of percent. One of my favourite math lessons I've taught is where I cut a bunch of flyers up from clothing and toy stores and then my students are given the task of "You have a hundred (or 2 or 3) dollars to do your Christmas shopping, your little brother wants lego, your older brother wants this video game, your dad is hoping for gloves and your mom a scarf, your grandparents like gift certificates from (insert some place). Do you have enough money to buy them all what they want. The great thing is the flyers will have different types of sales (40 % off regular price where they only give the full price, and other ones where they give the new price, etc) it is such a great way to differentiate the assignment as well.