While teaching in my practicum this term I am trying to do something small at the beginning of each math class to pull my grade four students in. The concept is called “Math is Everywhere”. It’s pretty simple: I hope to find problems I see in my life that can be solved mathematically and see if my students can solve the it.
The problems are being structured in a way that they reinforce the concepts we are covering in class and are accessible and challenging for all students in the class. We have just started a unit on division so the problems I am presenting to the class are ones that involve both multiplication and division. It is my hope that this series of small activities will help my students see that what they are doing has a real function and can actually be used to solve real life problems. I also hope that students will begin contributing to a class “Math is Everywhere” recipe box and that they will be able to challenge each other with student created problems!
Being a bit of a Formula 1 fan I was inspired to create Day 1’s problem: The Start of the Formula 1 Season.
C.C. Mary Bertram: Montreal Grand Prix 2011
Day 2’s problem was inspired by the first day of spring: Math is Everywhere: Vegetable Gardening.
The first two days were a great success and the students loved being challenged in this way! It also helps that the problems are presented in a Prezi projected onto the smartboard which instantly captures their attention! (They are all biting at the bit to have the chance to create their own presentations using Prezi’s!)
After posing the problem to the class, I give them time to ponder and discuss with each other how to solve the problems. They are challenged to create the mathematical equation for the problem, show all their work when solving and as an added extra write out their solution in words. One of the best parts is having students come up and share their solutions to the problems! Students are also encouraged to share if they solved the problem in a different way from the other students!
Below is tomorrows Math is Everywhere problem: Cookie Math.
I am looking forward to creating more of these problems and hope that the concept takes off in our class!