Friday, November 11, 2016

Math in the Newspapers

Old Newspaper, Newspaper, The 1960S  Most people have access to newspapers.  I do although it is only published once a week and arrives on Wednesdays.  Its not big and only covers the region but it has some math in it.

When we read newspapers, there is quite a bit of math used.  Most people read the newspaper without realizing that.  Even I skim over things without paying too much attention but if you slow down and look, you'll find the math.

1.  The stock market - most newspapers include the current.

2.  Sports results with averages, etc.

3.  Recipes and cooking.

4.  Ads with sales information.

5. Weather forcasts.

6. Statistics, graphs, etc.

This article suggests ways to integrate articles into the class room so students see the amount of math found in the newspaper.  It has several examples to see how to use actual articles in the classroom.

The Newspaper Association of America Foundation has a great 48 page Teachers edition on mathematical connections in the newspaper for middle school students. The activities start off with two different scavenger hunts which have students looking for certain things in the newspaper and making note of the page.

Then it has students work through various things such as calculating the commission earned if you sell a house, salaries for jobs, pet ads, and all sorts of other activities based on things found in the news paper.

The Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation published a 22 page list of activities in each subject using a newspaper.  The suggestions are broken down into elementary and secondary activities.  Suggestions for secondary math begin on page 17 and include things like:
1. Figure out the percentage of space for type, photos etc.
 2. Look for examples of things which could be used to explain congruence.
 There are 28 different suggestions for secondary activities and I like that some of the activities deal with the many facets of newspapers.

This blog has some great quickie lessons from the Washington Times which are based on the normal things found in a newspaper.  Check it out.

Have fun checking these suggestions out and maybe you could use them in the classroom.  Let me know what you think.