Making Connections to College and Career with Math

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Students Will Be Able To make a connection to their life path with math.

Big Idea

Students need to see that their life will always involve math. This helps make connections to why we are learning the things we are learning

Learning Objective and Prior Knowledge

Learning Objective: Students will be able to write real world math problems that relate to their interests and college/career paths.

Prior Knowledge: Basic math skills and writing word problems. Just because students solve word problems doesn’t mean they can write them. This skill is really important to helping students understand how to solve word problems.

Math Blast - Lesson Activator

Today I am not doing a Math Blast as I want to make sure students have enough time to complete the work today. Please look at some of my other lessons to see what Math Blast is all about, it is a great way to start the class!

See, Think, Wonder

10 minutes

Career Art

I end Math Blast and lead into my lesson with a See, Think, Wonder. The art is choose always relates to the unit I am teaching. It is a real fun way to get your students to think deeper about a subject without them knowing that they are doing it.

The SEE part is pretty basic thinking, I see….  

The THINK part gets them thinking a little deeper. This art makes me think about….

And the WONDER gets them really thinking deeper. This art makes me wonder if…. It is my way to getting their brains ready to think about math and I find that the transition is great. It is also a quick chance to expose my students to different types of art.

Note: You don’t have to use art; I use art because I am passionate about art. Use
examples of things that ignite your passion!

The Elevator Speech

10 minutes

As a connection to our local county’s Focus on Careers/College for all students, today we’ll be looking each individual student’s idea about their future. Along with that we are going to encourage students to make the connection with career and math, we need to help students realize how math used is used in a career path. The careers in the Wordle art are:

Duty Fulfillers, Guardians, Nurturers, Caregivers, Mechanics, Doers, Performers

Artists, Executives, Scientists, Visionaries, Thinkers, Givers, Protectors, Inspirers, Idealists

Where do YOU fit in? (*as part of this day, all staff across two school districts wear College Gear: sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. We also decorated our room doors with our Alum! Fun project to get more staff involved!)

Work It Out

40 minutes

After a good discussion students will make a Four Square poster about their choose career path, including their ideas about college/university. Here is the template that I use:


Closing The Deal

10 minutes

Help them make the connection that we ALL use math every day! Do a quick write, using any one of these question stems:

I never knew math ...

One thing I learned today is ...

I wonder if ...?

Do you think that...?

The Closing It section of the lesson is very important. This opportunity allows you to bring the class back together and have them make the connection to the learning objective of the day. You should also make sure that you make a connection to the word of the day. This closing gives students the opportunity to make the connection to the launch and they work that they did. It is also another chance to give a quick formative assessment to check for understanding.

Quick Assessment

5 minutes

The Post-It Poster: I would have them write down the math they came up with for their Real World math problem.

The Quick Assessment is supposed to be quick and on the easy to medium difficulty level. You are checking to see if students understand the basic concept of the lesson. If you make the problem difficult you are adding a different level of assessment. If you are teaching a higher level class adding a difficult layer might be appropriate but please note that I do not find it necessary to add this level.