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Here students use cameras and video to show mathematical operations used in everyday life


Computers & Internet, Math  


3, 4, 5  

Title – Real Life Math
By – Theresa Robichaud
Primary Subject – Math
Grade Level – 3-5


    Students will observe how mathematical operations are incorporated into everyday life and will share these observations with the use of video or pictures.



  • understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another
  • understand various meanings of multiplication and division
  • understand the effects of multiplying and dividing whole numbers
  • identify and use relationships between operations, such as division as the inverse of multiplication, to solve problems
  • understand and use properties of operations, such as the distributivity of multiplication over addition
  • know how to use basic input/output devices and other peripherals (scanner, digital cameras, etc.)
  • know how to exchange files with other students using technology (e-mail attachments, networks, flash drives, etc.)

Learning Resources and Materials:

  • Each group or pair of students needs to have access to a digital camera or camcorder that saves information on a memory card.
  • Also the room needs to be able to project an image from a computer onto a screen large enough for a whole class to see (such as the ones used for overhead projectors).

Development of Lesson:

  • Introduction:
        Begin by discussing with the class real life math problems and thinking up several examples (saving your allowance for a new bike, buying candy, etc. )
      Next take a survey on who in the class has a digital camera or camcorder that saves information on a memory card that they would be able to use. Pair up students so that each group contains at least one student with a digital camera or camcorder that saves information on a memory card.
  • Methods/Procedures:
        After the class discussion, ask each group over the next week to either try to catch a video or picture of a real life math example. Tell the students to then ask their parents to help them load the pictures either onto a CD (floppy disk, flash drive, etc.) or to help them upload it to their computer and email it to you using an attachment to your email address that you will write on the board for them.
      Once all of the groups have taken their picture/video and given it to you, use a computer and special projector to project the images onto the overhead screen so that the whole class can view the findings. Have each group come up and explain their picture/video and what it is showing. Also have them write the math problem on the board (ex. If they showed someone buying 5 pieces of candy for 10 cents each. They would write 5*10=50.)
  • Accommodations/Adaptations:
        For a student who had difficulty with reading, such as a student with dyslexia, most of this lesson plan should not be too much of a problem, except maybe writing the problem on the board. In that case, they could choose to be the one to explain their picture and equation and their partner (whom you should make sure does not have a problem with letters or numbers themselves) could write the equation.
        For students with difficulties in either speaking or hearing, provide a set of written instructions as well as notebooks for each member of the group so that they have a way to communicate with each other.
      For a student who is slower with processing information than an average 4th grader, make sure that they are paired up a very bright student.
  • Assessment/Evaluation:
      Assess groups based on whether or not their scenario really did represent a real life math situation and if their equation is correct. For those students who did not pick a correct scenario or had something wrong with their equation, have everyone as a class discuss why it wasn’t a good representation or how to correctly do the problem. If there is good participation from the group as a whole, consider the lesson a success.

E-Mail Theresa Robichaud !

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