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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