“When am I ever going to use this?”

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How many times have you heard or said that statement? Exactly. We have all been there said that. It is a fair question. So I am creating this blog to answer all the confusion you and your future students might have.

Math, a four letter word that you either love or hate. For myself it was a four letter word I grew to hate throughout high school and then that same hate carried over to college. UNTIL, I realized the importance of it. The frequent saying that I myself have said or heard other students say is “when am I ever going to use this?” It’s a fair question. When are you ever going to use the formula y= mx +b? or when are you going to have to multiply fractions together? When am I ever going to need math? Those are just some of the thoughts that went on through my head when I was sitting in my high school math class becoming frustrated because I could barely pass. Barely passing that is because I lacked effort.

It wasn’t until I came to college that that question I had sitting in my pre-algebra class was answered. I NEED MATH. I need it because I AM GOING TO TEACH IT, that is when I will be using it.  Yeah yeah yeah… I know you’re reading this thinking “well I’m not going to be teaching it!” Well, sorry to burst your bubble but you do use it in your everyday life and throughout this blog you will discover just that.

 

Link to Article:

http://www.nctm.org/Publications/Mathematics-Teaching-in-Middle-School/Blog/Answering-the-Question_-When-Am-I-Ever-Going-to-Use-This_/

IT MAKES CENTS?!?!?!

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Whenever you walk into a store you will find that people will be using math. Shopping requires a wide-range of math knowledge from estimation to multiplication and even percentages. I am a huge fan of deals and whenever I walk into a store the first place I go to is the sale rack. WHY NOT SAVE MONEY? Often times above the sale rack there is a certain percentage that is taken off of the original price. Instead of doing the calculations in my head or on my calculator, I would avoid any math that needed to be used to buy this adorable shirt I couldn’t wait to wear out that night. Instead, I would go find the nearest employee and ask him or her to tell me the price of this shirt I was dying to have. DID YOU CATCH THAT? I had to ask what the price of the discounted shirt was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How embarrassing? How lazy? Well… let me inform you of something, let me introduce you to a formula that will change your shopping life. Here is a formula for all you lazy shoppers out there:

ORIGINAL PRICE + or – (THE PERCENTAGE x THE ORGINAL PRICE) = NEW VALUE

In this video below it explains in more depth how to use this formula when trying to figure out the new price of your cute shirt, CHECK IT OUT!

Teacher Tip: You could incorporate a store in your classroom and have your students face challenges they may have while shopping. They could estimate the cost of their clothes before checking out. They could incorporate coupons, sales, and adjusted pricing for their items. This would be fun for the students and allow them to realize the importance of math and how it is used in their everyday life.

 

YOU BARGAIN SHOPPERS CAN THANK ME LATER!!!

Link to lesson plan regarding math and shopping:

https://community.lessonplanet.com/t/take-math-shopping/863

FOR GOODNESS BAKES!!!!

Math in the kitchen? That’s odd?

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Cooking and baking can be some yummy ways to introduce math to your students. I remember in fifth grade I was assigned a project. For this certain project we had to get up in front of the class and give instructions on “how to” do something. I chose how to bake rice crispy treats. I still remember this project as if it was yesterday, I got up in front of the class and was ready to present, feeling confident, I began my presentation. As I started I had realized that I forgot to grab a bag off the counter in my house. This bag included the measuring tools I needed for the ingredients to make the perfect rice crispy treats. It was that day in Mrs. Hoefs fifth grade classroom that I realized the importance of math because without my measuring tools AKA MATH, I could not bake my treats, I could not present this project.

Working in the kitchen requires a wide range of mathematical knowledge, which include:

  • Measuring ingredients that help you follow a recipe (YOU NEED THOSE)
  • Multiplying/ dividing fractions for more or less than a single batch
  • Calculating cooking time per each item and adjusting accordingly
  • Understanding rations and proportions, particularly in baking

 

These are just some of the many ways that math is incorporated into baking, who would’ve thought? Not my fifth grade self, that’s for sure.

 

TEACHER TIP:

You could assign a project to students, have certain topics such as baking, shopping, building etc. Have them demonstrate their topic, incorporating math into it without them even knowing? This way like me in fifth grade they realize they are using math, without even knowing it. This could lead to a good discussion or even a good reminder for them.

Link to an article:

http://amomwithalessonplan.com/cooking-with-kids/

SAVE IT, DON’T BREAK IT.

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Experts have said that without strong math skills, people are normally good at investing, saving, or spending money due to their emotions. The individuals with poor math skills are at higher risks to make huge financial mistakes. A student who fully understands these concepts of exponential growth and compound interest will be better at managing debt. Do you agree or disagree with this? Do you think that students with good math skills are more likely to be successful verses students with poor math skills? OR do you think that math skills have very little to do with whether a student can and will be successful?

 

Here are my thoughts:

Yes, math is very important as I have learned throughout my college career. I do disagree with the given statements above. I am not good at math, PERIOD. I have gotten better and will continue to get better not only for myself, but for my students as well. Just because I struggle with math doesn’t mean that I have a hard time saving or investing. I pay my bills on time and I know what I can spend and what I can’t. Maybe, I do spend a little too much at times on things that I think I need verses need to survive. The truth of the matter is the financial knowledge decreases over time, so it is important to keep our students involved.

Teacher Tip:

You can create certain math lessons the demonstrate to real life financial situations and budgeting. This allows students to properly spend and save their money without fear or frustration. I have attached a lesson below that I found on a website called educators.brainpop.com this lesson talks about the importance of saving money and the importance of recognizing the needs vs wants.

 

Link to a lesson:

https://educators.brainpop.com/bp-jr-topic/saving-and-spending/

 

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JUST INCASE YOU DIDN’T GET THE IDEA THAT MATH IS USED IN YOUR EVERDAY LIFE… CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO BELOW… and then if you still don’t understand, reread my posts and watch this video, until you understand that math is extremely important in our everyday life. As teachers, it is our job to set the tone for math. What I mean by that is when we teach our young students math we need to incorporate real life situations so they can too justify math and its importance. IT IS important for students to understand that they use math and WILL be using math everyday of their life!!