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Q&A #5835


Math and Community

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From: Kimberley (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Feb 23, 2001 at 17:16:06
Subject: Re: Math and Community

Ryan,

What a great way to help answer that ever-present "When are we ever gonna
use this?" question from students.

Have you considered having the students find out what math concepts are used
in your community?  I read an article one time (sorry can't remember the
source) where a teacher assigned or had each student choose a business or
agency or job.  He or she then conducted an interview with a person in that
job.  They had to find out what math concepts the person used, what math
courses they took to prepare for that career, and they also had to get a math
problem to take back to the classroom.  Students could then either prepare an
oral or written report.  Depending on the size of your community, you might
want students to do phone interviews.  Also, you may want to send out a letter
first to find people/places who are willing to participate.

Sometimes a challenge with this type of project is to get people to realize
that they are using math beyond arithmetic.

Another resource you might find useful is a poster and maybe accompanying
book from Dale Seymour Publications.  The title is "When are we ever gonna
have to use this?  The poster is item 1-57232-365-5.  The website is
<www.pearsonlearning.com> or phone 1-800-321-3106.


 -Kimberley, for the T2T service

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