Editor's Note: This blog is the first in a series of posts from former math specialist Scott Loomis on the real world math templates he has created for Wixie and how you can use and modify them for your own awesome performance tasks. You can read the backstory on his experience and expertise below.
Comparing decimals to the thousandths can be a mundane process for students, but is easily brought to life in the real-world scenario of stock car racing. The three-page activity asks students to record to explain their mathematical thinking/strategy, includes a page of practice drills, and then a sort and sequence summative assessment connected to stock car racing times.
Instructional Concept: Compare decimals to the thousandths
CC.M.4.NOF: Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions.
Location in Activities Library: Curriculum Library > Math > Numbers and Operations > Base Ten
Estimated Completion Time: 10-15 minutes
When I was a first year teacher, I had the unique pleasure of grading the Maryland State Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP). The math portion of the MSPAP consisted entirely of written responses – not a single multiple choice question, exposing me to the real world scenarios that make math interesting and providing a clear assessment of student comprehension.
Like a page out of one of my favorite book, Math Curse, I started envisioning problems all around me that I knew would challenge my fifth graders to apply their knowledge meaningfully. We designed putt-putt courses for an assessment on perimeter, explored ways to multiply recipes with fractions for larger serving sizes, and even explored real-world angels using compasses on a course I designed out on the sports fields.
Next thing I know, Visions has published four of my Real World of Math books. I began my first of six years as a district-level integration specialist, working with teachers and finding ways to integrate technology into daily instruction. And then something unexpected happened, I left the school system I loved and started working for Tech4Learning.
Tech4Learning's meaningful-use-of-technology mission statement read like my personal mantra. And my authentic task mentality easily merged with its dynamic productivity tools like Wixie. This is the first of my Real World of Math blog posts, where I will share some of my real world of math connections and the templates I have created and posted to the Wixie Curriculum Library, like Let's Party and Swimming Pool Volume shown above.