In addition to the rest of my job in HS academic support, I teach Life Skills Math a period a day to an 10th grader. I will have her again next year and would like to do some practical projects in addition to the workbooks, games and checkbook balancing type practice. I did a lengthy project with her this year involving collecting and graphing data on the activities of the preschoolers she works with in the afternoon. Just trying to come up with some other ideas. She is good at addition, subtraction, etc, but is not successful at things like percent. Any creative people have any fun suggestions?
I agree, something to do with shopping. Start with a weekly "paycheck" amount and have her practice shopping-making a list (and can practice categorizing with this if you divide items into groups like snacks, diary, frozen foods etc.), picking out items that are the best value, adding up the cost and figuring out how much is left over for other things, then take that amount and have her "shop' for clothing etc. She could practice keeping a record of expenses, like a check register, finding coupons and figuring out if they really save money (often the store brand is still cheaper). you could change it up and challenge her by setting percentages that she has to buy and graphing them. You can start off easy with ten items (that way 1 item=10%) and tell her that 30% of the list has to be fruits, 20% vegetables, 10% meat etc. up to 10 items, or 100%. You can teach several skills here: keeping a checkbook or cash record, budgeting money against needs, coupons, unit price, as well as healthy shopping habits and how to shop for quality and value over name brands.
How about area problems, like how many square feet is this lawn, so how much fencing do I need to buy, or how much fertilizer? And then, how many square feet of flooring for a room, or paint for walls? Practical applications of one, two, and three dimensional thinking.
Cooking problems-double this cookie recipe, half this cookie recipe. If one recipe makes 12 cookies, how many cookies will you get if you reduce by 1/2, and so on.
Fractions are difficult for many students, and a percentage is only a special case of fractions.
Thank you for taking this on. Good luck to you and your student.
Thanks for the great ideas. I had her plan a party for the end of the school year and we actually went out and shopped after we made lists and estimated prices, etc. She is such a hard worker and dedicated student.
If you have the space, why not do a quarter-long project on growing vegetables and then preparing dishes with them? There are lots of math related activities you could do with growing veggies (or any plants) and then using them in recipes. Things like, measuring plant growth, measuring water to mix with fertilizer, weighing the produce you college, and then all the cooking skills.
Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
Thank you for everything boy.
All good suggestions. Thanks! I want to do another quarter-long project like the preschool one I mentioned above, and since the school is getting stoves and starting to teach "Home EC," I think I'll try to tie in a lot of skills with a cooking unit to start out. Thanks again for the great input!!