Getting to Know Math. And You. (Printables Included!)

“Why do I have to learn fractions/ ratios/ algebra/ (insert math topic here)?”

Parents and Teachers, hands up if you’ve had to answer this question from your kids more than once and are expecting to answer it again for the 1,856th time.

It is a truth, not usually acknowledged, that an educator’s job description also entails occasionally having to emphasize the importance of their subject to their young charges. In anticipation of the new school year (and another round of questions), we’ve come up with some answers for their curious minds.

Yes kids, math isn’t just for scientists and astronauts, although a lot of their work involves math. Your kids may have heard of how people of other professions use math in their work, but today, let’s talk about some ways in which THEY can. Without further ado, here is math IRL.

How Much Does It Cost? (Division)

You’re choosing a jar of peanut butter at the grocery store. A 40-ounce jar costs eight dollars but you can get two of those jars for ten. Which is the better buy that allows you spend less and receive the most value? The nifty math trick here is to look at the unit price, instead of looking at the cost per jar to give you more bang for your buck.

There is a way to know when. Credit: Dreamworks Animations/ Shrek 2

There is a way to know when. Credit: Dreamworks Animations/ Shrek 2

Are We There Yet? (Speed = Distance/ Time)

Summer is the season for long car trips, and that all-too-frequent question. With a little math, you can now know the answer!  How fast is your car traveling? For example, if your car is traveling at 60 miles per hour and you need to travel for 90 miles, divide your distance by your speed to know the duration of your journey! So you’ll get there in 1 and a half hours!

Will this Fly? (Mathematical Inequality)

Or if you’re traveling by plane, knowing math can help you to pack! Most airlines allow each passenger to check in two pieces of luggage weighing a maximum weight of 30 kilograms combined.  So if your luggage must weigh less than or equal to 30 kilograms, math helps you know whether you need to travel lighter, or you have room for more.

Keeping Your Pressure in Check (Ratios)

Math is everywhere, especially in the way our bodies work. Blood pressure is recorded as a ratio, with the healthy ratio being 120/80 millimeters of mercury (ml Hg). Staying healthy isn’t your doctor’s job, kids!

Ice-breaking in the Siamese royal household. Credits: 20th Century Fox/ King and I/

Ice-breaking in the Siamese royal household. Credits: 20th Century Fox/ King and I/

And we’ve saved the best for last!

Knowing math can help you get to know your new classmates! On top of all these answers, we’ve put together two printables for your class! These printables come in two designs and contains an ice-breaking activity. Simply invite your students to fill in their answers, decorate their character and share their work with each other! After they’ve done that, we’d like to hear from you too! Tell us about your #BackToSchool experience via social media!

Download free printables

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