Using Math at Work

Print Lesson


SWBAT see how people use math at work.

Big Idea

Math is all around us but sometimes we need to be specific in showing students how it is there and how it is used.

Parent Visit

45 minutes

Today I have invited a parent architect to visit our classroom. He brings with him his architectural drawings, his measuring tools and a story to read to the class.

He spends about 30 minutes explaining how he uses math to measure buildings and to create his drawings. (MP4) He lets students read the measurements off of the drawings. He also encourages students to look at the different types of measuring tools that he uses. 

He demonstrates using steel tape measures so he can measure to the ceiling without the tape measure falling over. He shows a tool that measures angles. He has a ruler with several scales on it, and a folding ruler that goes to 30 feet. He has a variety of tape measures in different sizes. 

He leaves each student with a small handout showing his drawings and the measurements of the real objects. 

Measuring the Classroom

30 minutes

The parent visitor brings a measurement activity with him. He brings large graph/drafting paper for each child. He draws our classroom 3 dimensionally on the board. He next explains to students about drawing from a birds eye view looking down on the classroom. Next he asks students to identify the basic shape of the classroom. He then draws a large rectangle on the board and asks students to do the same. 

He helps them see the different walls with any indents, doors, windows, etc. He moves wall to wall around the room adapting his drawing and showing students how to draw doors and windows. He tells them that it is important to be precise when you are showing where things are so that the builder will put things in the right places (MP6).

Finally he shows his various measuring tools. He asks students to think about which tool might be the best for measuring the room (MP5). He has a short tape measure, an angle measurement tool, a tool for measuring non regular shapes, and a large tape measure. Students choose the large tape measure. He takes out a large architect's tape measure and has 3 students come and measure the length of the room and report it. He shows students how to label that dimension of the room. He has 3 different students measure the width of the room and report it. Again he stresses the importance of accurate or precise measures (MP6). 

He ends the session by taking questions from the students.