Sneak It In All Day: Make Math Real World To Increase Minutes

Children are surrounded by words and language all day long. It is everywhere around them, on signs, all over their technology, in their books, and it takes up a large portion of the minutes in an elementary classroom. In an effort to get more math minutes in, I’ve been trying to sneak math in during other times of the day. Here is an example:

When my daughter was ill last week, I needed to take an unexpected day off.  My class this year can be a little shaky with a substitute teacher.  Like most classes, upsetting their routine can cause a lot of anxiety and disruption. Whenever I return the next day, I like them to reflect on their behavior the next day.  I put up the chart on the easel below, and had them vote as they arrived in the morning.

We turned it into a 5 minute lesson during morning meeting on how to calculate percentages. It was perfect for my gifted students who are working on some presidential birthday data, they can now extend this thinking to their project.

photo (44)

This directly connects math to the real world, and it gives us data to reflect on.  It is also a really visual way to look at the day! We certainly want the orange part of our graph to be at 100% next time! We talked about where we went wrong, and set goals as a class for the next time a guest teacher is in:

  1. Listen to the speaker when they are talking.
  2. Focus on your own work, not what others are doing.
  3. A level zero voice means level zero!
  4. Respect other people’s space.

Putting this type of work into all parts of the day can really help students understand the importance of math in our every day life!



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