While educators know that math is all around us, sometimes students have a difficult time grasping its impact on our every day activities. Though the apps listed below may not inherently scream proportions, rate, sequences, and percentages, they very easily lend themselves to providing creative and engaging connections to real world problem-solving activities. Some of the apps can be used as hooks and others to provide data for further problem-solving or to spark discussion. (App Screenshots added to and displayed with XNote app with customizable graph paper background).
- Farmers Market: This tool provides users with 4 different vendors and 4 different customers. Vendors sell anything from vegetables and glassware to shoes and coats.
- Elementary students could create basic multiplication and addition sentences and then solve them, as seen with Ms. Carnazzo’s class, or compose and check problems based on change and currency.
- Middle School students could create word problems involving unit price, tax and mark up/markdown or research and discuss the difference in price and impact of buying local vs. buying from a corporation.
- Kidz Kitchen: Provides users with an option to make pastas and pizzas as well as cook lunch and dinner. In the “making pasta” segment, users guide the chef through the kitchen to complete the steps of making a series of different meals.
- Early elementary students could utilize this tool to learn order and sequence of a task.
- Middle School students could create word problems that involved proportions, fractions, and conversions for recipes, how much food would need to be ordered so there was the least amount of food waste based on the dishes ordered, or research and map out times for when the chef would have to start prepping and cooking each element of a meal to complete it by a certain time.
- Lil’ Kitten Shopping Cart Game: Lil’ Kitten is given a specific amount of money ($25) and a list of items he has to purchase for his family (e.g. butter, guava, ice cream cones, yogurt, bacon). First he has to locate each item in the store, and then he has to choose which brand of item to purchase (e.g. one brand of bagels may cost $3.50, another $3.00, and another $2.50). The goal is to purchase all of the items and still have money left over. While Lil’ Kitten’s list typically only has 4-6 items, he can actually dump up to 10 items in his cart (including items that are not on the list). When he has put all of the items on the list in his cart, he can check out and is provided with a write-up of his original budget, money spent, money saved, etc.. If he has money left over, he can buy a toy from the store as well.
- Elementary students could practice creating and solving word problems that involve change, multiplication situations, repeat addition, etc..
- Middle school students could again create word involving unit price, tax and mark up/markdown or research and discuss then and now prices of grocery stores.