Reflection: Real World Applications Multiplication and Problem Solving to Make Bracelets Day 1 - Section 2: Concept development


Whenever possible, I love bringing in real world situations into math. I originally thought that this lesson may appeal more to girls than boys, but I'm always proven wrong.  My boy students love making these bracelets just as much as the girls.

"So, just what does math have to do with jewelry?" was a question asked today. I read the following paragraph that I had copied from a jewelry blog. 

A LOT!  When you cut a piece of a stone or crystal to put on a necklace, bracelet, or earrings, you have to measure precisely where you want to cut it. Then you have to decide how you want to cut it. Then you have the harder questions to answer. Will the cuts turn even? What will the shapes be? Will there be an even amounts of shapes on the stone? Will the stone draw attention to the eye? Does the stone have symmetry? Will it look nice? One little mistake and that’s it! So you better know a lot about your shapes and geometry because there is a ton to do with them.

For the more simple beads for necklaces and bracelets, that still requires math! Length of the piece of jewelery, and the pattern of beads.

Another thing you will need to know is how to manage sales. What does each material cost? What does each stone cost? How much does it cost to use the machines to cut the stone? What is a reasonable price? What about taxes? All that is math as well. So don’t think that you will be escaping math my dear friends, for you will be sadly mistaken.

My students enjoyed this response and seeing that it came from a jewelry blog.

As you can see in my reflection video, math projects sometimes present mixed feelings with in myself. While, I have been so proud of my students in their amazing multiplication computation skills, that is still only one leg of the three legged Common Core Standards stool - math classes need a balance of procedural skill and fluency, conceptual understanding, and applications of problems.  Providing time for students to apply their skills in rich problems and tasks like these is an education balance as well.  Being content with giving 2 days to a project in which students use many math skills, and apply them in a real world context is sometimes easier said than done. I keep thinking about long division looming in the near future and I'm reminding myself lately to stay in the present with my students.


  Exhausting but FUN
  Real World Applications: Exhausting but FUN
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Multiplication and Problem Solving to Make Bracelets Day 1

Unit 2: Multiplication with Whole Numbers
Lesson 19 of 22

Objective: SWBAT multiply two-digit by one and two-digit numbers to determine a plan for patterned beaded bracelets, estimating the number of beads which will be needed. SWBAT solve multiplication word problems involving beaded bracelets.

Big Idea: Students work with multiplication in a rich, real world task.

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