Students grasp and apply concepts more quickly when they can practice applying them in daily life. A series of workbooks called Make It Real Learning, available from Math Mammoth, are a resource geared specifically for this purpose. We believe it is important to make connections across the curriculum, so we were very happy about using these workbooks for a review.
Each workbook covers a specific math topic such as:
- Fractions, Percents, Decimals
- Sets, Probability, and Statistics
- Linear Functions
- Quadratic Functions
- Graphing and other Algebra Skills
- Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
- Periodic and Piecewise Functions
- Polynomial, Power, Logistic, and Rational Functions
The Make It Real Learning page lists the grade level for each downloadable workbook- some are for grades 3rd through 6th, 4th through 7th, 6th through 11th, and high school. Each workbooks is $4.99, but there are two bundled sets, called Activity Libraries, of 11 workbooks each for a discount price of $39.99.
There is also a series of smaller workbooks called States by the Numbers that use real facts and statistics gathered by the 2008 US Census about each state to show more ‘daily life’ application of math operations. You can purchase the book for your home state for $2.99 (.pdf download), or get the bundle of all 50 states for $19.99. All workbooks include a complete answer key.
Each of these workbooks help students practice:
- Place value
- Fractions and Percents
We used the States by the Numbers workbook for Ohio, the MIRL workbooks for Arithmetic 1, and Fractions, Percents, and Decimals. After Kenny completed his regular daily math work, we used these workbooks as application of learned concepts, so we did as much or as little as time allowed. Some days that was one page and about 10 minutes, while other days we completed an entire section in 20-30 minutes. The States by the Numbers workbook tied in nicely with our geography studies, and the lessons in Make It Real Learning that illustrated math concepts in cooking were fun to apply later in our own kitchen, although we are usually doubling recipes instead of halving them. Especially pancakes.
MIRL was definitely not about doing some contrived word problems. And questions about population, weather, square miles, wages, energy, farms. . . are obviously going to spark some interesting discussions about the incredible importance of math in so many areas of life. It also sparks curiosity about other topics, such as:
- What is the US Census?
- What is the history of the minimum wage?
- Comparing different forms of energy.
- Companies like Hershey Chocolate, Aeropostale, and Petsmart.
- How does interest and borrowing money work?
Kids are encouraged when they can see for themselves that they really will use this stuff later.
In addition to providing focused math practice and applications, these workbooks would be very useful for preventing summer brain drain. Downloadable files can be saved and printed as needed, and used by multiple students. These workbooks can be self-directed, used with a group of students, or with a parent.
Flexible, fun, affordable.