We always want math to be practical and relevant for our students. We want them to see the value in learning the concepts. Math is everywhere, but sometimes our students don't notice it.
Just the other day, I came across a series of books that shows how math relates to the everyday things we do. It is called "Math in Our World" from Weekly Reader. There are at least 8 books in the series and each one tells a story about kids using math. In Making a Model with Solid Figures, kids recreate a playground with 3D shapes they find in their own homes. In Graphing Favorite Things, kids use data collection strategies to plan a neighborhood party. Using Math at the Class Party is a different scenario where math equations are shown and explained in story form at an end of year party.
These books are simple and straight forward. They explain basic concepts in math very well and are a great model for writing similar math stories.
I showed the last book mentioned to a small group just yesterday and then challenged them to create their own math book on Big Universe to explain or pose a question about math in the classroom. This type of assignment requires some high order thinking and collaboration for sure! Once they all read the book and added it to their shelf, this group of students needed to think of a story that would lend itself naturally to math, write a storyline and think of equations they could showcase.
This week, I will get more details from them to see in what direction they are heading and offer guidance. I hope to give you an update on their progress with their book next week.