Math Adds Up to Life
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interesting and stimulating math topics to write about. The articles do not necessarily represent
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Anyone that says that numbers are not important has not looked around very carefully and has
definitely influenced little people to think the same.
Numbers connect life whether in the classroom or in everyday activities. The reality of it is
numbers are found all around us. Our lives are so inundated with facts, figures, statistics, times, and, well, just
It is inescapable. When you can connect life and math as inseparable entities, the task of learning
to multiply, divide, and work word problems becomes much more tolerable. Remember the old Sesame Street number
songs and games?
Attach numbers to things kids already understand, like birthdays and bed times, and you will be on
your way. You have before you multiple applications a day to make the connections.
Are we there yet? How much longer? What time is it? Numbers in use all day every day. Take a clock,
not the digital kind, and show them the numbers. Early on, they probably will not grasp the minutes, but the hours
are sufficient enough.
Does the word birthday mean anything to your child? Days turn into weeks and weeks into months, and
we count them all. Show how long it is until the next holiday or their birthday. The calendar is an easy tool to
use counting by ones or by sevens. Also, have your child determine which months are longer.
Maps and vacations are great opportunities to work on this. Inches and feet can be illustrated all
over the house, but miles are more difficult. Just a note, we Americans still teach metric system measurements for
when we actually begin to use them, so I would wait a bit on those too.
• Weights and Measurements
Bake a cake and measure the ingredients with your child’s help. Visual aids always help learning go
better. After the cake, though, take them to the bathroom scales and show the ratio between pieces of cake and
higher numbers… You get the picture. Opportunities are everywhere.
If your child is a sports fanatic, averages, percentages, and statistics in general come naturally.
Players wear numbers for a certain number of halves, quarters, or periods divided into specific increments of
This may be a little deep for the smaller ones struggling with math’s relevance, but computers are
built on numeric formulas and equations based on the binary system. Furthermore, programs must be able to
communicate with numerical logic. Every aspect of technology drips with numbers. There are plenty of places to find
the history of computers and their relation to numbers.
• Science & History
Math and science are totally interwoven. The laws of the physical universe are expressed in written
form using numbers inserted into formulas. We translate the outcome to something that makes better sense to us.
Without numbers, we would lack the ability to interpret and understand what was measured. Just a
reminder, for something to fit into the definition of science it must be observable, measureable, and
As for history, well, dates typically do not get much love, but explaining the mathematical
brilliance necessary to build pyramids and ziggurats may be a great glue to help math “stick to the past.”
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