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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Math IRL (In real life)

As I think my students realize now, I like to ask interesting questions that really cause students to THINK. I'm also really big on application. How will you use this skill? Where?

For instance, where is math IN REAL LIFE?

We started looking at math IRL through our photography challenges. If you check out the Instagram page, you will see photo showing scale, symmetry, lines and multiples...and there are more to come! (I got this fabulous idea from @mathphoto16)

A few examples...

Wow! Look at all the math in the world around you! Did you realize you were living around all that math? Math exists IRL not just in a textbook, worksheet or in fabricated word problems.

We watched this video, too (an idea provide to me by @mrsboate). Called Math Is Beautiful, it shows math in music, in food. Math makes trees.

WHAT? Math is in nature?!


Also, we are starting to examine all the math in art. Symmetry, scale, lines, repetition. All those things we just took photos of in our 'math photo challenge'? All those are art elements, too.

"Does math create beauty?!" I ask. (What an amazing, intriguing question!!)

So, yes, we will calculate and get into the nuts and bolts of math, the step by step procedures and how-to-dos but this will take place within a wider context of how we look at, approach, and develop our thinking about math in the real world. 

In this way, all those abstract 'text book' math concepts are more firmly tied to reality. Math becomes hands on, or right in front of us, in a way that feels more real and accessible and, I would argue: easier to grasp. 

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