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Fourth Graders Learn About Math From Local Businesses

Fourth-graders have been using math to creatively learn more about their community and how math has a strong connection to the business world in a project led by Mareasa Severson, a math teacher at Midlakes Elementary School.

She tasked students to brainstorm a list of local businesses they would write and ask how they use math in their daily operations. Students developed a list of more than 50 businesses and then wrote, addressed, and mailed letters to many of them on their list.

Some students asked very specific questions, like: "How do you use geometry and fractions when cutting a pizza?"

One student asked the hospital to estimate the number of broken bones they treat in a week. Students also asked, "How do you use math to organize a list of people into groups?" and "How do you use math?"

“The purpose of this was not to get them to pick a career,” Mrs. Severson said. “It was just to see the community connections and to see how math is used in everyday life."

Some businesses have already written back and have invited students in for a visit with their families.

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