Vlog Ep #06: Look Around You for Real Life Contexts for K-6 Math

In the busyness of classroom teaching, do you find math lessons becoming a bit stale? Are textbook lessons getting you and your students down a bit?

I believe that students crave interesting, relevant lessons, especially in math. How can we provide such lessons?

It’s a simple idea: find real math going on in the world around you and bring it to the children’s attention.

In the video I talk a bit about the new kitchen we’re having put in. There’s a heap of math that the builders have to get right, including measurement, simple arithmetic and three-dimensional geometry.

What can you talk about with your students? Here are some ideas:

Real-Life Contexts for K-6 Math: Some Suggestions

• Take photos with your smartphone, add them to PowerPoint slides, ask students “What do you notice?” or “What questions are you thinking of?”
• Talk about shopping experiences where you had to figure out a best buy, someone gave you the wrong change or something cool happened
• Explain how you adapted a recipe for a different number of servings
• Talk about your favourite sport and how rankings work, and how many points teams have to win to come out on top this season
• Talk about designing something cool, such as a garden, a craft project, a greeting card or a decorated cake

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Standing in the Rain, Teaching: Video

Rain gauges measure rainfall by collecting a small sample and measuring how deep the water is. The trouble is, we are interested in very small units – in the metric system, rainfall is measured in millimetres/millimeters. How can you accurately measure such small amounts?

How can we use everyday examples to teach measurement?

Watch the video: I explain how a rain gauge amplifies the depth of water collected to make it easier to measure.