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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In this activity, you will be demonstrating the types of shapes that sink and those that float. Your child can have fun sculpting boats with clay while also learning about displacement.

Help your child be active and practice math with this activity. Your child will run or bike a one mile route and later determine how many miles they could complete in one hour. It is a great way to learn about speed and rate.

Use codes to motivate your child in practicing arithmetic. This can involve any or all of the operations, and all it requires is some paper and a pencil with just a bit of planning ahead. Your child will solve problems and then use the answers to decipher a code and uncover a secret message…

Help your child practice area, perimeter, fractions, and decimals while also introducing background information on landscape architecture and the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (designer of the Capitol Grounds, Central Park, the Chicago World’s Fair Grounds, among others). Your child will design a park and determine the areas of features they choose to include…

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