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Upper School Corner - Mrs. Marjan Jahanfard

Thursday, 10 November, 2016 - 5:59 pm

When I announced to our Middle School students that I want them to be the first generation of middle school students not to be intimidated by real world problems and application of math, they looked at me as if I was completely out of mind!

Two months later, they have all risen to the occasion and done their best to keep an open mind while facing this challenge head on.

Just this week, some of the 8th grade girls were learning about football, the velocity of it, and how to predict how long it would take for a pass to get to a certain height. With the football season being underway, the question seemed more relevant than ever. We were able to draw on real examples, talk about the different types of passes, the importance of math and physics in playing ball, and what coaches and quarterbacks need to know before they decide on a particular play.

At the same time, the 6th graders were calculating how much juice they needed to make a bowl of punch while still following the recipe that only makes a jar. Some of the students brought in other examples of ratios and proportions such as baking cookies with moms and how they sometimes need to double or triple their recipes. One student took it upon himself to conduct a mini survey of teachers and students at the Hebrew Academy regarding their favorite subject in school, to use as an example of ratios.

Some of the other students were learning about metals and alloys and what percentage of each type of metal they needed to make a specified alloy.

Yes, we were doing all of that and more in math... not chemistry and not PE.  As I told my young scholars, you will be surprised of all of the places that you will find math in real life....The playground, the science lab, and even in your own kitchen. In life, no one will ever come to you and ask if you could solve an equation. It is up to you to apply what you've learned in school and solve real world problems. Our own Miri Newman said it best “I really like word problems because then you can see how it applies to your life.”

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