But in today's newspaper, I come across several. Parents can use the newspaper as a source of guiding their children in learning mathematics.
In 1974, anthropologists in Ethiopia found the astonishing fossilised remains of a human-like creature who last walked the planet some 3.2 million years ago. | Straits Times
The above can lead to an understanding of the magnitude of the million. The fact that this year is just 2015 years after the birth of Christ makes 3.2 million years ago seems like several lifetime (literally!!) away.
Did you know that Singapore does quite a bit of business in exporting ornamental fish?
Value of Ornamental Fish Exported
2008 USD69 million
2009 USD60 million
2012 USD62 million
2013 USD56 million
Parents can use this with upper primary children to calculate percentage change. Or learn the use of line graphs to make predictions.
Heathrow Express left Paddington at 0941 and arrived at the airport at 0955. Even with 13 minutes walking time to the check-in counters I was early for my 1030 checkin. What is the latest Heathrow Express I could take to be not late for my 1030 checkin?
By 1020 I was through security screening. But it is another 15-minute walk to the gate. Boarding is at 1130. What is the latest time my Heathrow Express should leave Paddington for me to be at the boarding gate at 1130.
Note to Parents | The ability to compute on paper is less important than the ability to use mental strategies such as doubling to arrive at an answer. Or the ability to tell how much change is expected if one pays £5.
Also how many tomatoes make a pound, approximately?
The Heathrow Express is the best way to and from the airport. It costs £21.59 one-way except on Saturday when it costs only £10 one-way.
You can also buy a two-way ticket.
How much should a two-way ticket cost so that it is never more expensive to use it?
Thinking versus computation - it is important to engage your child in conversation about how much a two-way ticket might cost. Should it be twice of £21.90 (mentally, 20p less than £44)? It is usually cheaper than that to encourage passengers to buy two-way tickets.
The key to help your child is to have conversation and discussion. You are not helping very much by simply putting a stack of worksheets in front of the kid.
The regular plate cost RM2.80 and the premium plate, fried with duck eggs, cost RM3.50. In 15 minutes, the hawker sold RM32.90. Is that possible?
Note for Parents
Students who are strong in maths have good number sense. They can reason if 2.80m + 3.50n = 32.90 is possible.
Some may reason that since 2.80 + 3.50 = 6.30, there is some chance of getting the 0.90 in 32.90. So is it possible?
Also students with good measurement sense can tell if it is reasonable to prepare 10 plates of the dish in 15 minutes is reasonable. You need knowledge of context in this case. This is also an example of linking mathematics to everyday situations.