Thursday, December 29, 2016

Using Newspapers in High School Math

Newspaper, Article, Journal, Headlines  I love the idea of using newspapers in high school math but where I live, we have access to a weekly one which arrives Wednesday afternoon if the weather is good or Thursday otherwise.

The good news is that many newspapers can be found online so access is quite reasonable if you are not near a daily one. Some newspapers do offer complementary copies to schools if wanted.

Newspapers offer the perfect way to connect classroom learning with the real world.  So what are ways you can use newspapers in your classroom?

1.  Use the weather maps to find mean, median, and mode.  Most newspapers have wonderful weather maps which may cover the area or the nation.

2. Take the temperatures and have students convert them from Fahrenheit to Celsius or have students convert miles per gallon to kilometers per gallon.

3.  Look at mpg for various cars and have students compare models to determine which model has better gas mileage in percents.

4. Check out sales flyers to compare prices to determine better prices and again use percentages.

5. Use inequalities to find the best buys for used vehicles < $3000 or >$35,000.  Apply inequalities to mileage for cars or perhaps use the same type of criteria for appliances, or even sports.

6. Have students write word problems to go with an assortment of graphs and tables.

7. Look at clothing, food, or other ads to write functions based on buying combinations such as jeans and shirts.  Or you could have them write functions for inequalities based on not spending more than a certain amount for your new jeans and shirts at the beginning of school.

8. Check out the help wanted ads so students can take a yearly salary and figure out the monthly or weekly gross pay.  If they find a weekly or monthly amount, students can calculate yearly salary.

9.  Create posters with real world examples of math to hand around the classroom.

10.  Go house hunting.  Find a house, then calculate the mortgage payment for 15 and 30 years using current rates.

11. Rank the colleges using the Academic Index which uses algebra to rank colleges. Change the parameters to see how that changes college rankings.

12. Check out this article which has lots of different ways to use the New York Times in Algebra.  Ideas 10 and 11 are from the article but they have several more great ways.  In addition, they include the appropriate standards and mathematical practices these activities meet.

If you want to include this article from 1922 which looks at the use of Algebra in Tariffs.  Image, even that long ago, they asked the same question regarding its use. 

Enjoy, have a good day and let me know what you think.