Additional Math Pages & Resources

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mathematics Awareness Activities for Kids

Mathematics Awareness Month was started in 1986 to promote math education and careers in math. It began as Mathematics Awareness week, with a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan, who said in part:

Despite the increasing importance of mathematics to the progress of our economy and society, enrollment in mathematics programs has been declining at all levels of the American educational system. Yet the application of mathematics is indispensable in such diverse fields as medicine, computer sciences, space exploration, the skilled trades, business, defense, and government. To help encourage the study and utilization of mathematics, it is appropriate that all Americans be reminded of the importance of this basic branch of science to our daily lives.

Mathematics Awareness Poster
Now celebrated each April, the goal of mathematics awareness month is to increase mathematics understanding and to help people develop an appreciation for math. Around the country, many colleges and universities have month-long activities, often partnering with high schools to educate students about math careers and college coursework. Read more and download the 2013 poster at the Mathematics Awareness website:

During the month of April, you can help parents, students and your community understand the significant role math  plays in our daily lives. (You can continue the trend all year long.) The 2013 theme for Mathematics Awareness month is "Mathematics Sustainability: Balancing Needs and Seeking Solutions for a Complex Changing World." Since Earth Day is also celebrated in April (22), you can tie together both events for a month-long emphasis on math in the classroom. National Geographic has a water footprint calculator that your students can use to see how much water they use in their day-to-day activities: You can challenge them to conserve water at home, school, and in their community with these suggestions from the experts.

Excel Math Lessons help build students who are confident in mathematics and prepared for higher-order thinking skills and advanced math education. In fact, many students develop a love for math as they progress through the Excel Math program. Take a look at our proven lessons for Kindergarten through Grade 6 at More than just worksheets, these lessons really work! Read the glowing reports from administrators, teachers and parents:

Prepare a few short questions and have your students interview their parents to find out how they use math in the workplace. Invite some of those parents to talk to your class about the things they enjoy about math and the ways they use math in their everyday lives. Talk about your own interest in math and your hobbies that involve math (music, baking, gardening, carpentry, collections, knitting, scrapbooking, sports, etc.)

The Children's Nutrition and Research Center in Houston has put together a fun Healthy Eating Calculator you can have your students (and their families) use as a kick-off to Mathematics Awareness month:
The calculator has you enter the child's activity level, age, weight and height and then recommends a daily number of calories, plus the amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, milk products, oils, and lean meat and beans the child should eat each day. Although this should not replace a doctor's recommendations, the chart also shows the sugar and fat content of some of the more popular foods kids eat. Read more about nutrition and children here:

Try a cooking demo, having your students prepare some no-bake cookies (be sure to use ingredients that won't cause allergies). Or use a well-supervised kitchen or toaster oven for baking. First, let the students double or triple the cookie recipe so they have enough cookies to share with another class (students plus teachers and your principal or other administration and support staff). You can use this cooking lesson as an opportunity to thank the custodians or other workers at your school by including them in the final cookie eating. If your students have keyboarding skills, they could type up recipe cards to take home along with thank-you notes to the workers you are including.

As the students eat the treats, talk about the math skills necessary to do everyday tasks such as compare grocery prices per ounce, count change, take out a 3-year car loan and find the lowest interest rates, modify recipes, calculate square feet of a room (to order tile or carpet), divide liters of soft drink between the entire class so each student gets a 6-oz cup, measure fabric for an apron or window drapes, determine how many miles per gallon a car gets if it travels 150 miles on a tank of gas, figure out on which day the first day of summer will fall this year and next, estimate by rounding up to determine how many cans of soup you can purchase with $5.00, calculate the amount of interest you would earn if you put a $200 tax refund in an interest-bearing account that had an APY of 5%, use a map to find the distance you would travel if you biked from one of your state parks to a nearby river or lake, decide the time you need to get up if you have to be at school at 8:00 and it takes you 2 hours to get ready, etc.

You may want to use a few links from our website to help your students develop an awareness of math with games and online resources:

Since May is National Fitness Month, get a jump on active math activities with ideas from our previous blog post: National Fitness Month—Get Moving With Math.

New to Excel Math? Visit our website to learn more and take a look at sample lessons:

Looking for help with the transition to Common Core? Take a look at our Excel Math Common Core Teacher Edition.
Or, if you're from Texas, see how Excel Math is TEKS aligned and  the perfect transition to STAAR assessments. 

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