The Reflective Educator

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Sharing ideas about math in the real world

I’m very interesting in finding ways mathematics is present in the world outside of the classroom, which I’ll call the "real world." Obviously what students do in the classroom is part of the real world, but too often in math instruction school math is completely separate from the contexts kids experience in their day to day lives. I’d like to build a collection of resources for math teachers so that we aren’t all scrambling in the dark looking for ways to incorporate more contextual learning in our teaching. Note that I’m not at all opposed to teaching mathematics which is highly interesting but has no real world context. I’m just opposed to teaching math which neither has context or any pizazz.

Here are some of the ways you can share your thoughts and suggestions on real world math.

  • Join the Flickr group here. Make sure that each of the photos you include has a description of why it represents a mathematical idea. Your students could also join this group and share their own ideas!
     
  • Blog about real world mathematics. Use the tag ‘realmath’ in your blog post (all one word) so that other people can find it by searching. Post a link to your blog post on Twitter (or any other social network) with the hashtag #realmath.
     
  • Post ideas under #realmath directly on Twitter (no blog post required).
     
  • Contact me through the form above and (assuming it’s appropriate!) I’ll post your idea about real world math here.

Please suggest other ways we can share ideas for context based mathematics and I’d be happy to include them here.

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