We hear it as math teachers all the time, “Use real-life examples in math problems.” Many of us take the problem given to us in a text book and try to relate it to real life. Sometimes it works, but usually, even though it is a step in the right direction, we are still talking about a two dimensional screen or piece of paper. Today we have access to the internet, camera, and video, so it should be much easier to bring real life into the classroom. Imagine presenting a perimeter problem to a student, but instead of a rectangle and some numbers you show them a video of the yard you want to build a fence around. Ask them to estimate how much fencing you would need to buy. Without ever giving a formula, let them come up with the way to get perimeter.
Math teacher Dan Meyer explains how presenting real-life scenarios through photos and videos makes math problems “irresistible” to students. Below this is a link to several leveled real-life problems for students to solve.
Problem Solving Lessons – Just what we are talking about. Short real-life videos with math problems for students to solve. Several lessons for grade levels Kindergarten through seventh grade.