Mr. Jones' Room

1st-4th Math Coach Constantly Searching for New Ideas

The Best Laid Plans…, “Real World” Math, and 3rd Grade Algebra

The Best Laid Plans… I’m going to put a disclaimer here that I am not complaining and this activity was not going to revolutionize math as we know it, just giving a recap of the day. I spent my prep working on this: Image I was going to start with a quick review of the different types of angles (acute, obtuse, and right). Then bring it home with where we see angles (the shelves, the easel, etc.) Maybe even discuss why we see the angles we see in particular places… ImageImage Image I was going to have the students do a “Scoot” because they were a little cooped up this morning with the state ELA test. I figured they wouldn’t want to sit so I’d get them moving. They would each start at a paper, and go around with their answer sheet measuring the angle, they’d have 30 seconds at each paper. Then we’d sit, and go over it. When I got to the class I pull from in the afternoon, I was told that only 3 students missed the lesson. The teacher wanted me to just quickly go through the lesson with them, so there went the plan. The bright side is that I now have that activity for next time…glass half full kind of thing. “Real World” Math? Dan Meyer recently discussed “real world” math on his blog. He gave a problem and asked which of 3 scenarios would make it most “real world”. It was a great illustration into differing views on “real world” math. With that being said, I came across a “real world” math problem in our math text that shall remain nameless. “Becky is dancing at her recital. She wants to know what angle her arms make while she’s dancing.” It shows a picture of a girl dancing in the margin with the overlay of an angle from wrist to wrist. If anyone of you has ever danced and wondered what angle your arms are making, please let me know. Also, why would you? I don’t understand why this is considered a “real world” problem. I think a “real world” problem should be something that people would NEED to complete in real life. I’m going to see how many similar problems arise throughout this math program and hopefully inject some actual real world problems that might bring math out of the abstract and into the concrete for my kids. 3rd Grade Algebra If you asked a 3rd grader to solve 2y + 14 = 34, they might do one of a few different things. One, they’ll run away from the crazy person who asked them to solve for a letter in math. Two, they might cry. Three, they might just laugh. I started at two and ended at three when a question showed the width of a rectangle as 7 and asked the students to find the length. I understand that the problem isn’t technically algebra but conceptually it is. I was thrown by that and thought I’d share.

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2014 by in Everyday and tagged , , , .
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