Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible


Real-world math activities at yummymath.com

[ Editor's note: Brian at Yummymath contacted me on twitter to introduce me to his web-site. I hadn't heard about it so I went to check it out. I liked what I saw and I offered to promote the site if he wrote a guest article. Here's the guest article. ]

Making Math Meaningful to Students: www.yummymath.com

Have you ever heard math students ask “Why do we need to learn this?” or “When am I ever going to use this?” There is a relatively new website, www.yummymath.com whose purpose is to help educators answer those exact questions. The website provides authentic and timely math activities that relate to real life happenings. Math activities are written
about current events that are of interest to students, including sports, technology, movies,
big news stories and holidays. While the activities are written about topics that kids can
relate to, the activities focus on number sense reasoning, problem solving and conceptual
development of math concepts.

Yummymath activities incorporate real life data. For example, a recent activity was
written about the NFL to coincide with the start of the NFL season. The activity was
centered on actual NFL team values, something that is relevant to many students. The
activity represented actual NFL franchise values in bar graph form and focused on
visualizing the concept of the mean. Other notable recent activities include an analysis of
the Harry Potter movie franchise, which coincided with the final Harry Potter movie, and
a “hurricane math” activity that coincided with Hurricane Irene.

Yummymath was created in early 2010 by two math educators, Brian Marks and Leslie
Lewis. Brian is an instructional math coach and Leslie is a retired math teacher who
still works with schools improving student learning. Several years ago, Brian, an eighth
grade math teacher at the time, noticed that his students were much more engaged
in the learning of mathematics when the math was presented in a real life context
that was of interest to his students. Soon he was writing timely and creative math
activities for his classes on a regular basis. In March of 2010, Brian and Leslie launched
yummymath.com in order to share their authentic math activities with other educators.
Their math activity on the “Oil Spill in the Gulf” was used by the NCTM as one of their
six Student Investigations in Math activities in 2010. Brian and Leslie have created and
shared nearly 100 different math lessons since launching the site.

New Yummymath activities are written about once per week and include both pdf and
word document files. Many of the activities are cross-curricular and can be used in
science, social studies, and health classes. Common Core State Standard correlations
are included with the activities. Yummymath.com is a unique in that it offers a different
type of resource than the typical skill and drill worksheets often found on the Internet.
The site is very user friendly and well organized. Activities are categorized by month,
by mathematical strand or by connection to the real world (sports, culture, science and
more). If you are looking to help your students see relevance in mathematics or want to
give them an authentic math learning opportunity consider using a Yummymath activity
in your classroom. Check them out at http://www.yummymath.com.

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  1. Thanks for the post. This is a great website! As a math educator I’m always looking for quality math activities that integrate various mathematical concepts in a relevant and engaging manner.

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