Math Comes Alive When Applying Understanding to the Real World

Bring Problems Off the Page

Homework worksheets are an effective way for students to practice what they have just learned, but they don’t encourage deeper understanding or help to make connections. More complex activities that encourage students to seek answers to authentic problems with relatable contexts can jumpstart engagement and enable them to see broader applications to math concepts. Solving problems that are derived from the world around us and combine different disciplines makes math more relevant to students’ lives and therefore worth focusing on. It enables them to see math through another lens— as a useful, practical tool for creativity.

Activity List

Search a list of recommended activities. I have purposely selected ones I feel are especially effective for teaching math concepts and sparking kids’ interest. And, I am continually seeking out further challenging and compelling projects that will stretch young students’ thinking and enhance their problem solving skills.

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Are you familiar with the Pythagorean Theorem? Do you remember what it means and why it matters? This Pythagorean Theorem Lego proof will help students visualize the theorem, remember the different parts, and show that it is in fact true in a fun way…

Mancala is a game that is thousands of years old and has been played in various ways in countries all around the world. It is a simple enough game to provide extra practice with counting, but offers enough strategy and combinations to keep older kids interested in playing. And, it is quite simple to create your own…

A tessellation is an arrangement of shapes closely fitted together in a pattern with no gaps or overlapping. In this project, your child can explore different shapes and combinations of shapes to determine which ones tessellate. The possibilities are endless here for creating tessellating designs!

Use weather data to track the temperature over the course of a week or month. This is excellent practice for using a data chart, finding data landmarks, and creating a line graph.

Featured Articles

Importance of Math Games

  Math games are not just fun to play, they can also be a highly effective way to help your child, with a long list of benefits. Kids respond to learning when engaged, challenged, and enjoying their tasks. There is quite a difference when kids are active participants!...

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Why Do Teachers Use Manipulatives To Teach Math?

As parents, you may have noticed less emphasis on algorithms and memorization in mathematics and more emphasis on "sense-making" since the time when we were kids in elementary school. A big piece of this process is using manipulatives-- toys that are used as teaching...

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Why Use Children’s Literature to Teach Mathematics?

Children love stories. Parents and teachers can take advantage of this by using literature as a vehicle for teaching math and consolidating understanding. Children's literature can highlight concepts, act as a springboard to new math learning, stimulate discussion, or...

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