ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Helping Your Child Understand Real World Applications for Grade School Math

Updated on November 30, 2014

Challenges I Faced as a Student

One of the biggest challenges I faced, as a 4th and 5th grader, was knowing how math practically applied to the world around us. Often, I was assigned multiplication and division worksheets requiring timed proficiency and rote memorization. I understood the mechanics needed to solve however, I had difficulties understanding how it applied to our daily lives.

I believe that knowing how math applies, to the real-world, is key to a student's holistic learning experience that goes beyond the pure mechanics of problem solving.

Inspiration for this Article

Back in 2007, Professor James Blackburn-Lynch posted a video on YouTube that really resonated with me. He perfectly describes many of the same struggles that I experienced firsthand in school. He brings to light that math is more than just a string of algorithms and numbers. Rather, it's something that's all around us that we use everyday.

Professor James Blackburn-Lynch
Use this link if the embedded video below does not appear

Another inspiration is my daughter Miriam. In doing her homework, I saw that she struggles with some of the same concepts I did growing up. My hope is that this article serves as a guiding light for her, as well as others, to be successful in math!

Professor James Blackburn-Lynch

Multiplication

A great way to conceptualize multiplication is to look at a real-world example. First, have them count the number of marbles in the first diagram 1-by-1. Next, explain to them how multiplication can be used as a shortcut to easily calculate the total without having to count each one. This can be done by multiplying the total number of columns by the total number of rows. In this example, we have 6 columns and 5 rows. When multiplied together, we get 30 marbles.

Multiplication - Another Practical Application

Let's look at another practical application for multiplication that is used frequently. In this example, we're stocking up on soups for the winter. Today, they are on sale for $3.75. To calculate the total price, we have two options: 1) we can either add each can individually (Option A) OR 2) use multiplication (Option B).

It's easy to see that Option A involves the laborious task of adding each one individually. Going through this exercise will help them understand how multiplication can be used as a shortcut to solving this problem more efficiently.

Division

What in the world is this division stuff about anyway? Let's take a look at a real-world example that children can easily resonate with. Here, we can see that there are 16 marbles that need to be equally distributed between 3 children. Using this this illustration, it's easy to see how division can be used to tackle this problem.

Adding and Subtraction Fractions

As a student, I understood the mechanics of adding and subtracting fractions, however it was puzzling to me why we had to incorporate a LCD (least common denominator). I found this web site to provide excellent insights into this question using slices of pizza as an example. Go ahead and spend sometime going through this website with your child:

Check out the explanation on Math Mistakes web site

Let's look at an example that easily illustrates why the parts have to be equal before they are added.

What subject did you find most difficult in school?

See results

Feedback

I would love to hear your feedback. What are some of the topics that your child has struggled with?

Other Great Math Resources on Amazon

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)