Making Mathematics Meaningful

Thursday, July 12

We were introduced to our new members, Sue Hannon and Nate Whitaker. We then talked about whether or not we have narrowed down our focus too far. We decided that our matrix is to be used as a guide.

We then began our sharing of activities that we use in our classroom that we feel help make math more meaningful.







Commun-icating Math

Logic & Reason-ing











Balderdash (Michelle)

Board activity (Dave B.)

Dinosaur Activity (Lynette)

Create your own ball park (Terry)


Who Am I?/Who Will I Be?







Oh Baby! (Lynette)

Design a school parking lot (Dori & Shelly)








*Restaur-ant ac-tivity (Gina)

*Cost of raising a child activity (Dori)

Cost of raising a child activity (Dori)


*Create your own ball park (Terry)

*Restaur-ant ac-tivity (Gina)

*Scale Model of a room w/ budget (Michelle)

*Window-washing activity (Terry)








Cost of raising a child activity (Dori)






  • Circle activity designed to understand the meaning of pi (Dave B.). Nate suggested extending that activity to filling the circles with squares of various sizes to approximate area. Shelly suggested filling in the circle with the "biggest square" possible in the remaining area of the circle and continuing that process;
  • Dori suggested taking an orange and cutting it in half, then cutting out the triangles and arranging them to form a rectangle in order to approximate area;
  • "A Mathematics Teacher Reads the Newspaper" activity pulling two or three questions from today's newspaper related to mathematics. Shelly had chosen an article related to astronauts, but also found a windchill chart as well;
  • K'nex activity (Josh) to investigate symmetry and similarity;
  • representing fractions with squares - paper folding (Sue);
  • volume activity (Nate) two containers of varying size; pour water from one into the other and determine what the change in the height of the water level will be;
  • slope game on Geometer's Sketchpad (Shelly);
  • budget game (Gina) semester-long.

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IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute is an outreach program of the Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540
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With program support provided by Math for America

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808 and Grant No. ESI-0554309. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.