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Making Math Relevant

How I Made Math Relevant

 I am not a licensed in mathematics.  However, in whatever subject area I taught I used math.  I wanted my students to see how math was used in their lives and how relevant it was.

 When I taught World History I quickly realized my students had no idea of geography.  I decided to write a history of their community that was also a socio-economic study of the area.  I used the census tracts of that area.  I did a lot of work personalizing the census for my students.

 In 1977 I wrote a curriculum entitled “Survival Skills for Students” that included the following pages: My Income vs. My Expenses, Five Ways To Earn a Quick $5, Summer Job Hunt, Numbers-Statistics, What Are Your Chances of Making It to the Pros?, Do You Understand the Sales Tax?

How Do You See The World of Work? Candy Store, Shopping for a TV, Check Out Skills, Inside the Supermarket,  Food from the Farm to Your Home, Check Out Your Local Bank, Loan Officer and Apartment for Rent. 

 I incorporated math when teaching my students about:




I also had my students do a day's diary of how they interacted with math from the time they got up until they went to sleep.

I had my students help me list on the chalkboard all the monthly expenses that a family had.  The students could not believe at the end of the exercise how many expenses a family had.  Then we would take an average of each one and see approximately what everything costs in a month.

My students had no conception of population figures so I used the capacity of Madison Square Garden (basketball 19,763, hockey 18,200 ,  Shea Stadium (55,777 I am dating myself) and Yankee Stadium (56,866)as starting points .


Real-world strategies to make math relevant - The Edvocate

Making Math Fun, Accessible, and Real-World Based | Emerging Education Technologies

Math in Daily Life

Using Picture Books to Help Children See and Talk About Math All Around Them - The Edvocate

Real World Math

Mathalicious - Real-world lessons

We Use Math

Get The Math

How we use fractions everyday and don't even realize it

Hands-on Mathematics + Multicultural Education = Student Success

Multicultural Math Activities

Yummy Math

Quilt Geometry

My wife, a quilter, uses the geometry she learned in school to create quilt designs.

How to Connect Early Geometry to the Real World?
The Edvocate

I strongly feel that we should be letting our students know about the possible careers in each subject area.  This should be done in every class and on every grade level.