Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Middle School Kids Using Mathematics Outside Of School

I decided to go cross curriculum the other day with my middle schoolers and asked them to write a one page essay on the following topic:  How do you use mathematics outside of school?

I got the standard answers and then I got some answers that were just hysterical!  Snippets of these I just have to share.

"Everyday humans all over the world use mathematics, whether they know it or not.  They use it to count, buy things or sell things and so on. Humans can't help it if they use mathematics."

We just can't help it...stinking math.

"People use math more than they realize.  Some people say they hate math but they use it all the time so how can they get over the fact that they hate math then they have to use it all the time.  I swear humans can be so stubborn sometimes."


"I remember when  was younger and I wanted to buy my own Barbie clothes for my dolls. We went to Wal-Mart and I had at least $15. By then I knew how to add two digit numbers. I had my little notepad and turquoise pen and I was adding. Came out to $13.44.  I got to the checkout and the chick scanned my items.  Next thing I knew. Somehow, more money was added. Later that evening, I came home with the clothes and I asked my mom, 'Why did the chick add more money?' Figured out, it was tax.  I officially hate tax now.

Those chicks at Wal-Mart will get you every time if you aren't careful!

"No matter where you are, a book store or an amusement park, you'll probably use math. You can't hide from math."

"If I was making like some bunny cage (It was not my idea.) or a TV shelf [I would use math]. My dad, sister, and me were helping each other with the cage (but then the rabbit died too bad!)"

 : /  I don't even know what to say...except, remember, they ARE middle schoolers.  Sometimes they just can't be explained.

"One time I counted how much it took me to go get my phone.  I counted in feet.  It took me 32 steps to go get my phone from my room to the kitchen."

Yes, this child does have big feet, but I don't know if they are actually, in fact, a foot in length.

"When there's a certain percent off of the clothes that gives us an advantage.  We can get more stuff when something is discounted.  That means we have to calculate the expense though. Usually I calculate it mentally or with the calculator on my phone while my sister goes to the price check.  Sometimes I have my blonde moments."

I title this one, "The Lazy Sister and the Blonde".

"My mom is a math genius so it's easy for her.  Sometimes she'll ask me to help her figure something out like 200/15 and she'll answer it in at most 5 seconds after she asks me.  The whole time I'm trying to do it mentally and then when she gets it I think, 'Why did you ask me again?'"

At least this kid listens to the mother!

"My mom usually makes ME compare all of the prices."

Go Mom!

"Sometimes when we have company over my mom tells me to make a double recipe.  Once I forgot to double some of the ingredients and had to start all over when I remembered.  Now I remember that it is supposed to be 2 times the original amount!  Thanks to you, it is now a lot easier!"

Kiss up. ;)

"Every time I go out to that ranch I think about all the math I had to use to build that fence.  It was fun and tiring for me actually using my brain."

*eyes rolling*

And now one more.  This kid wrote a whole page on softball and then there was this last line.

"There are a lot of ways to use mathematics like shopping.  I use it more on softball."

Really...I didn't notice.

It was a fun little project that provided me with some good entertainment.  You just never know what middle school kids are thinking.  But if they are thinking it, they will usually say it.  You aren't left in the dark about their little minds for long!  Hope you enjoyed!