I’ve found that math can get rather boring if all you do is learn a problem style and then do a page of problems with that style, so lately I’ve been on the hunt for some free real world math problems that would stimulate curiosity in the kids.
This site has about 80 different Challenges that you can choose based on mathematical skill set necessary. We haven’t used these yet, but they are on our to try list. Middle school and up.
This site has quite a few different types of problems ranging from Melting Pot Math to Toothpick Puzzles. So far, we’ve only completed a few of the Open-ended Math Problems, and we’ve enjoyed working them out together very much. Middle school and up.
They have lessons based on concepts, project based learning, space, and more. This site has ALOT of information, and I’m still digging through it. I have seen some projects that are for as low as 3rd grade, but most seem to be appropriate for grades 5-12. The author is clear though that it’s difficult to assign grade levels to the problems presented. I think the U-boat Hunt looks particularly interesting – combining decoding a cipher with charting latitude and longitude. This is an extremely well done resource, but you won’t be able to just pop on and print out a problem for the day – there are Google Earth files to download for each lesson.
Make it Real Math and States by the Numbers by Make it Real Learning
OK, this is not actually a free resource, but they do have a free download that contains 10 sample problems taken from the various workbooks. And, the entire state of North Dakota is available as a sample. So, while not free, you can definitely get some good practice problems out of it, and the cost is not prohibitive to purchase them. Make it Real Math is probably my favorite of what we’ve done so far because it uses actual real situations that you could find yourself in. States by the Numbers covers place value, rounding, estimation, fractions, and percents.
And, if you still don’t have your fill of math and want to get more real world ideas – you can check out Education Math’s article: Get Real: Math in Everyday Life.
And, for day to day math encouragement as well as great ideas, I can think of no better place than my friend Bon’s site Math is not a Four Letter Word. This girl LOVES math! Don’t believe me? Just take a hop on over there yourself.
So, what about you? What are some of your favorite math resources? How do you integrate math into everyday life? Tell me about it in the comments.