Unit 3 Real Life Mathematics


Real Life Mathematics

Unit Objectives

After completing this unit you will be able to recognize and incorporate real life problems into your mathematics curriculum.


The content being taught in the mathematics classroom is not always easily related to real life situations. Students are generaly subjected to irrelevant mathematical word problems that the text book may claim to be "Real Life Mathematics" although it most often is not the case. What then is real life mathematics? How can we, the teacher, relate the mathematics of our curriculum to real life problems? Why should we incorporate real life mathematics into our curriculum? This lesson is going to address these questions and provide some resources to start integrating real world mathematics into your lessons.
Watch the following video for examples of real life mathematics.[1]


  • The following article discusses the importance of teaching through real life problems. [2]
  • Preview the following websites, focus on the problems that apply to your curriculum. Choose three and decide what you like and dislike about the lesson/problem. Are they applying mathematics to real life problems?
  1. Get Real: Math in Everyday Life[3]
  2. Math in Daily Life[4]
  • Steven Diaz, a math instructor in florida, started a blog to identify real life mathematics. Follow his blog at [[5]], for some great ideas and applications of mathematics.


Keep it real, defined by the Urban Dictionary[[6]] as meaning, to not be fake. Keep it real, a slogan that mathematics teachers should abide by and for good reason. Keeping the problems real for your students can improve their comprehension of the concept being taught. Keeping it real will motivate your students to continue studying and talking about mathematics well after they have taken your course. You may not be able to synchronize every lesson or every concept with a real life problem but the ones that do coincide will be enough to keep your students wanting more.

Motivating the Mathematics Student