Numbers in the News

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 3, 2015  in: current events, real world math

I worry that  kids think that math only happens in math class.  Although I make our math lessons relevant to my students’ lives, I know sometimes they just don’t notice the connections between real life and math.  This year, I’ve made “Numbers in the News” a point of focus in our class.  I think so far, my approach is making them more aware of math in the world around us.

One of our bulletin boards with Math in the News information

One of our bulletin boards with Math in the News information

I started the year with a bulletin board of “Numbers in the News” that highlights the sports teams in Chicago.  I love sports and share that passion to my students.  Each class keeps track of the wins and losses of our favorite teams and determines the percent wins for the Bulls and total points for the Blackhawks.  By this time of year, the 5th grade boys own these sports teams and update as necessary.  Soon we’ll add the Cubs and the Sox to our bulletin board and track their wins too.

I’ve also assigned two “numbers in the news” projects this year, one in November and one in February.  The purpose of these projects was for students to choose a theme from a current topic and create a poster highlighting five examples of numbers that go with that theme.

In the fall, some of the favorite themes included Halloween, Thanksgiving, pumpkin production, sports, and weather.  In February, students presented Valentines’ Day, winter weather (always an interesting winter topic here), sports, and Presidents Day.  Students created their projects at home and then presented them to the class.   They enjoyed viewing each others’ posters and learning fun facts in numbers for some everyday events.

Numbers in the news projects bring real life to math class. Students have the opportunity to research a favorite topic in order to find how numbers and math are used.  It’s important that they make those connections.


Numbers in the News posters hanging in the hallway


Student created posters with their fun facts in numbers


Creative ways to show math understanding



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