Living maths…

I’m kicking myself this morning! I found a video clip that I wanted to use as a provocation for my Early Morning Maths group last night and I didn’t save it anywhere, so I decide to use another provocation that I have stashed away.

We say which one doesn’t belong (taken off an amazing website. There is no correct answer – just explain why you choose the one that doesn’t belong.

The children say all the obvious things – 100 is the only 3 digit number; 45 is the only odd number; 45 is the only one that isn’t a multiple of 10. Then S says, “45 is the only one that says ‘speed limit’.” J is confused. Doesn’t that mean the same as maximum? So we start to investigate their wonderings ….

  • What is the maximum speed in a car?
  • What vehicle can travel at 900 km/hr?
  • What does ‘per km’ mean? …

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 8.38.31 am

We look up the distance between Melbourne and Sydney, and the website tells S that it is 878.5km away AND that it takes 8 hours and 49 minutes to drive there. So, what’s your average speed? And the investigation continues…

This moves us into comparing things and we start to consider how to compare the prices of meat.

I ask how much they think meat costs per kg. The guesses range from $5 per kg to $20. We need to be sure so we all go onto website of different butchers. K is mortified that meat can be so expensive.

How do we compare prices when products are sold in different size containers? We all share our thoughts and do an example. There are 3 different ways that we find to solve the problem. Finally, we go onto our supermarket’s website and see that they actually tell us the price per 100g. K is sure his Mum doesn’t know this! “It’s not fair that it’s written so small!” he moans.

Home learning is simple. Ask your parents how they know if a bigger or smaller item is more cost-effective, and show them what you learnt.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.57.00 am


Exit cards are to tell what your “AHUH” moment was.

Some talk about realising that speed is about distance too. Others talk about how comparing prices is easy and connected to multiplication and division.

Can maths always be related to our lives?

Should it be?

About Jina Belnick

I am a full time learner - tumbling head first into education and joining my learners on the amazing adventures that we encounter daily at our PYP school in Melbourne, Australia.I am currently working in learning support, feeling the waters and seeing how teachers and learners are best supported, I am a listener and a leader, an inquirer and a follower. I'm loving the ride!
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