Lesson 9 - Math Techniques for Adult Basic Education (ABE) Learners Illinois State Library
Real Life Applications of Math
Page 5 of 6
Math is in everyone's every day life. Adult learners need to be able to apply the skills they are learning to their lives. Think about all the real life applications that can be used to teach math.
For example, you could use the example of remodeling a home to illustrate math concepts. You need to use a great deal of math if you want to remodel a home. You have to use the newspaper to compare prices on the items you will need from local hardware or home improvement stores. You have to get samples of wallpaper, paint, carpet, etc. You will need to know the measurements of the rooms you are remodeling to know how much wallpaper, paint and carpet to buy. Remodeling is a great tool to use to teach area and perimeter. You can use house plans found in magazines to make your lessons realistic.
Other Real Life Applications of Math
- Get maps from AAA and study road construction going on in the state or nearby.
- Plan a Party! Set a budget, the cost, food to buy, menu, and recipes. Use cookbooks for amounts and use newspaper ads to figure the cost.
- How much TV does the student watch in a week? Great for working on averages, and also for charting.
- Plan a weekly menu for the learner. Go shopping using the weekly flyers. Compare prices, sizes and nutritional values on packages.
- How about calculating the time and money needed to go on an outing or vacation? Use bus or train schedules, admission ticket costs, gasoline costs (estimate miles per gallon using their vehicle), and lodging costs for all family members. How far is the destination? How long will it take? How much will it cost? In terms of gas? Of lodging? Total?
- Study sports statistics. Does the learner like baseball, basketball or golf? Who is winning right now? How close is the team in second place?
Use the authentic materials that math learners need help with. Ask the learner what items they need to understand at work or at home. Have them bring in the math related items about which they have questions. You might see phone bills, bank statements, their children's homework, or medical insurance claim information. Use these materials as teaching tools.