How I Use It
Mathalicious provides an arsenal of teacher directed lessons centering around mathematical questions found in the context of the real world. I initially came across Mathalicious as a 4th/5th grade teacher and adapted two lessons for my class (One called Payday: Payroll between teachers/professional athletes & one about Fibonacci Sequence, Leonardo Numbers). Mathalicious does a solid job with clear resources that are organized and help extend a student's thinking into deeper mathematical processes. The “Payroll” lesson compared the annual salary of LeBron James and an average teacher. It started with short video clips of LeBron and who he is, his endorsements, and career to help give background to all students. Students then, once given the yearly salary, had to determine the monthly, weekly, and daily amount LeBron and an average teacher made. This was pretty eye-opening and served as a meaningful comparison between a professional athlete to more of a career students had experience with. Since the site is really for 6th-12th grades, I had to really direct students how to calculate the information and guide the discussion. The lesson also provided a springboard to look up other salaries and discuss if what someone earns is equivalent to what they are worth. My class didn’t dive too much into this part but we started the discussion. We were able to complete this lesson in two 45 minute periods and students really were engaged. The only thing I found a problem with was the student handouts were a bit small in size, I enlarged them on a copy machine prior to handing out and, as mentioned before, some of the information wasn’t applicable to my 4th/5th grade students.
If I was a math teacher at a middle or high school, I would definitely use this product. They are also aligned to the Common Core Standards as well. The lessons pertain to real-world events happening now and include athletes, musicians, and other popular things students can relate to. It helps to focus students on things happening around them and understand that math is all around us. The activities can be challenging and encourage group work and discussions. I think it does a good job of leveraging current events while embedding math in ways students might not naturally notice.