Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Real life math problems.

I was reading the news on yahoo.com yesterday and came across two articles I can use in my classroom to show some real live math problems.
The first involved a young lady who took a taxi cab from the station to the restaurant, a jaunt of about two miles.  She used a credit card to pay for it and the taxi driver ran the transaction and added quite a tip so the total was close to $800.  I can ask them how much was the actual taxi ride per mile and what percent was the tip the taxi driver gave himself.  I can have them figure out cost per tenth of a mile.  This opens up some nice discussion.
The other story was about a Chinese land developer in China who purchased a one year old full blooded Tibetan Mastiff for 1.9 million US dollars.  He paid 12 million yen.  This means I can have students figure out the exchange rate, $ per pound, percent above the normal price of a Tibetan Mastiff in the US. 
Lots of possibilities and each one would make a great warm-up with the material and questions.  I will have to keep an eye on the newspaper for various warm-up ideas like this.