Tag Archives: realmath

[Three Acts] Stopping Distance Makeover

Act One Show this video. Ask students what questions they have.    Act Two Give the students these photos. From these they should be able to figure out the distances travelled by the car, but you may wan to point out those handy reference points in the background (hint: the parking spots).   Act 3 […]

Lego and Minecraft in Math

This article originally appeared in my school’s monthly magazine, and was co-written with Chelsea Todd, a 4th grade teacher at my school. Note that the lesson idea presented below is Chelsea’s idea.   The 4th grade math classes were recently completely engaged with a challenging but slightly unusual mathematical task. Students had been studying area […]

DIY Catapults!

One of my jobs at my current school is work on mathematics enrichment projects with three 4th grade students. For the past couple of weeks, in between their camps, my camp, and other end of year events, we have been working on looking into a mathematics modelling task, specifically, a fork catapult. The 4th grade […]

Math in music

I’m always on the look-out for ways of finding connections between mathematics and other areas of knowledge. Music is one of the areas of knowledge that I know has some similarities with mathematics, and so I’ve been brainstorming ways one could incorporate music into a mathematics classroom. Here are a few examples. A musical scale […]

Paper folding activities

I’ve been playing with paper folding recently, and exploring the mathematics involved. I’m simply amazed by the number of mathematical ideas that can be represented by paper folding, so I thought I would share a few of my discoveries here. Sequences As you can see above, you can generate the sequence of numbers 1, 2, […]

Math in the Real World presentation

I am presenting in Hope, British Columbia today, on the topic of Math in the Real World. Here are my presentation slides. You will probably notice that sections 6 and 7 of my presentation are not completely focused on the topic of “math in the real world” but I feel like they are such important […]

Find the area of a leaf through calculus

(Image credit: Kumaravel) After reading Bruce’s post this morning about finding the area of a leaf, it occurred to me that this could be solved using calculus. The basic project would be for students to collect some leaves, trace them onto graph paper, determine through modeling the equations that correspond to the edges of the […]

Math in the real world: Train tracks

This is another in a series of posts about how one could find mathematics in the world around us. My son loves to play with train tracks. A few days ago, while playing with his train tracks, he observed, "Daddy, I can’t turn a train around." I asked him what he meant. "No matter which […]

Math in the real world: Gardening

My uncle called me today, and asked me a math question. Normally, I get called and asked technology related questions, but occasionally people remember that I have a mathematics background and call me in to assist. My aunt wants to build a raised garden bed with a very particular shape. My uncle has been tasked […]

Mathematics in the real world: World Statistics

This is another post in my series on mathematics in the real world.     Thanks to a colleague of mine, I rediscovered the Google Public Data explorer. Within 10 minutes, I had constructed the above graph, which shows adolescent fertility rate for 15 to 19 year olds, versus life expectancy, measured against (look at […]